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FORMULA RENAULT 3.5 NEWS 

Aragon FR3.5: Carlos Sainz Jr storms to race one victory

carlos sainz

Carlos Sainz Jr took another dominant Formula Renault 3.5 victory in the opening race of the weekend at Aragon.

The Red Bull-backed DAMS driver fended off an attack from a fast-starting Nikolay Martsenko into the first corner, and from then on set about building a massive lead.

Martsenko had a lonely race to second, comfortably leaving behind the scrap for third place.

Zoel Amberg held onto the final podium slot in the early stages, having taken advantage of Oliver Rowland and Roberto Merhi running wide at the first corner at the start.

Rowland appeared to have no answer for Amberg's speed down the backstraight, and he eventually got ahead after a drag race that was decided in the braking zone for the tight hairpin towards the end of lap 13.

Rowland ran Amberg wide, which allowed Marlon Stockinger through to fourth. The Lotus junior initially fell back from Rowland, but by the end of the race he was on the Briton's tail and forcing him to defend his third place.

Amberg came home fifth ahead of a fierce fight between Merhi and Matthieu Vaxiviere, who stormed through the field from 13th on the grid.

The Frenchman got alongside the ex-DTM racer in the closing stages, but he was edged off the track, and never quite mounted another challenge again after that.

As for Sainz's former co-championship leaders, fellow Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly came home ninth after going off at Turn 1 and picking up some nose damage during the race, while Will Stevens was unable to build on a good first lap, finishing 12th from 15th on the grid.

Results - 25 laps

Pos Driver                Team         Time/Gap
 1. Carlos Sainz Jr.      DAMS         43m14.984s
 2. Nikolay Martsenko     Comtec       +14.335s
 3. Oliver Rowland        Fortec       +24.291s
 4. Marlon Stockinger     Lotus        +24.488s
 5. Zoel Amberg           AVF          +33.825s
 6. Roberto Merhi         Zeta Corse   +34.652s
 7. Matthieu Vaxiviere    Lotus        +34.942s
 8. Sergey Sirotkin       Fortec       +37.387s
 9. Pierre Gasly          Arden        +38.622s
10. Pietro Fantin         Draco        +42.885s
11. Norman Nato           DAMS         +43.309s
12. Will Stevens          Strakka      +46.232s
13. Jazeman Jaafar        ISR          +48.853s
14. Meindert van Buuren   Pons         +49.922s
15. Marco Sorensen        Tech 1       +51.361s
16. Luca Ghiotto          Draco        +54.250s
17. Roman Mavlanov        Zeta Corse   +57.127s
18. Beitske Visser        AVF          +59.760s
19. Matias Laine          Strakka      +1m05.335s

Retirements/not classified

     Oliver Webb           Pons         1 lap
     William Buller        Arden        1 lap
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