Robin Frijns took a dominant victory for Fortec in the second Formula Renault 3.5 race of the weekend at Aragon.
The 2011 Formula Renault Eurocup champion, who was the man to beat in pre-season testing, inherited the top spot when early leader Marco Sorensen's Lotus car broke down on lap 10, and from there the Dutchman was never headed.
By then Frijns had worked his way into second place by passing Tech 1's Kevin Korjus on the opening lap, and ISR's Sam Bird at the start of lap six.
Bird would go on to take second place, but the Briton spent the latter stages of the race 10 seconds adrift of the leader after a stunning sequence of laps enabled Frijns to ease away.
The fight for second place was a three-way affair towards the end, with Bird having to fend off Korjus and slow-starting polesitter Arthur Pic (DAMS). But as the two cars behind Bird fought each other, he was able to build up a cushion to keep second.
Pic was the star of the race after the pitstops. First he worked his way past Arden driver Alexander Rossi to take fourth, and after charging up to the Bird/Korjus battle, he grabbed third place three laps from the end at the first corner.
The Frenchman ran out of time to put Bird under any serious pressure, while Korjus had to settle for a comfortable fourth ahead of Rossi and Richie Stanaway (Lotus).
The top two from race one had a day to forget. Saturday winner Nick Yelloly (Comtec) was caught up in a midfield accident at the first corner of the race and had to pit at the end of the opening lap, while Jules Bianchi had to start from the pitlane after his Tech 1 car failed to fire up for the warm-up lap.
The Ferrari junior driver was then handed a drive-through penalty during the race for his mechanics still being on the grid when the warm-up lap began, while Yelloly had a time penalty added on after the race for making his mandatory pitstop outside of the pit window.
Results - 27 laps: Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Robin Frijns Fortec 46m38.013s 2. Sam Bird ISR + 9.908s 3. Arthur Pic DAMS + 10.898s 4. Kevin Korjus Tech 1 + 15.787s 5. Alexander Rossi Arden + 21.180s 6. Richie Stanaway Lotus + 23.843s 7. Daniil Move P1 + 33.602s 8. Will Stevens Carlin + 39.995s 9. Giovanni Venturini BVM Target + 46.079s 10. Andre Negrao Draco + 46.623s 11. Mikhail Aleshin RFR + 47.346s 12. Carlos Huertas Fortec + 47.869s 13. Jules Bianchi Tech 1 + 51.700s 14. Anton Nebylitskiy RFR + 55.574s 15. Nikolay Martsenko BVM Target + 56.528s 16. Zoel Amberg Pons + 1m02.589s 17. Vittorio Ghirelli Comtec + 1m20.057s 18. Nick Yelloly Comtec + 1m39.983s Retirements: Walter Grubmuller P1 13 laps Marco Sorensen Lotus 10 laps Yann Cunha Pons 9 laps Lewis Williamson Arden 1 lap Jake Rosenzweig ISR 0 laps Lucas Foresti DAMS 0 laps Kevin Magnussen Carlin 0 laps Nico Muller Draco 0 laps
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