Hungaroring FR3.5: Oliver Rowland defeats Matthieu Vaxiviere

Oliver Rowland emerged from an enthralling duel with Formula Renault 3.5 title rival Matthieu Vaxiviere to claim his third win of the season at the Hungaroring

Hungaroring FR3.5: Oliver Rowland defeats Matthieu Vaxiviere

Racing Steps-backed Fortec driver Rowland and Lotus F1 junior Vaxiviere occupied their own private battle at the front of the field, finishing almost 20 seconds clear of Strakka Racing's Gustav Malja.

The scrap became most heated on lap 13, when Rowland was forced to defend the inside line into Turns 1 and 2, as Vaxiviere gained an overlap.

Despite a string of fastest laps by Vaxiviere, Rowland eked out a 1.5s margin of victory.

The Briton's win is, however, under investigation.

From fifth on the grid, Rowland made a sensational launch away from the lights; first swerving around the outside of team-mate Jazeman Jaafar and then jinking into the middle of the road to cut between race one winner Egor Orudzhev and pole winner Vaxiviere.

"I made a bad start yesterday, so knew what I had to do to put it right," said Rowland.

"Matthieu had a lot of speed, so I was surprised he could stay so close to me. I was hoping he would drop off!

"I had a long brake pedal with four laps to go to contend with, but this is a fantastic result."

Arden's Orudzhev outbraked himself into Turn 1 and immediately fell out of contention while scrabbling back onto the road from the run-off.

Behind third-placed Malja, there was more action at Turn 2 as Pietro Fantin tapped Roberto Merhi sideways.

Merhi's quick reactions resulted in a save, but the Spaniard dropped behind Fantin and Tom Dillmann to sixth.

Fantin would later receive a 10s penalty for crossing the white line exiting his mandatory pitstop, falling from fifth on the road at the chequered flag to eighth.

Malja's result is the Swede's first podium in his rookie FR3.5 season.

"Like Oliver, I made a good start was able to grab third directly," said Malja.

"I didn't really have the pace to stay with those guys, but starting from sixth this I couldn't really have expected this."

Jazeman Jaafar utilised an early pitstop strategy on lap six, and subsequent rapid lap times, to claim fourth ahead of Carlin's Tom Dillmann.

Along with Rowland, DAMS racer Dean Stoneman is also under investigation after being involved in a minor moment passing Orudzhev at Turn 1 on lap 10.

RESULTS - 27 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 42m20.132s
2 Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 1.519s
3 Gustav Malja Strakka Racing 19.722s
4 Jazeman Jaafar Fortec Motorsports 21.782s
5 Tom Dillmann Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 24.391s
6 Tio Ellinas Strakka Racing 25.173s
7 Roberto Merhi Pons Racing 27.226s
8 Pietro Fantin International Draco Racing 32.685s
9 Nyck de Vries DAMS 35.447s
10 Meindert van Buuren Lotus 38.272s
11 Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport 39.734s
12 Dean Stoneman DAMS 40.472s
13 Aurelien Panis Tech 1 Racing 41.789s
14 Roy Nissany Tech 1 Racing 49.192s
15 Beitske Visser AVF 53.216s
16 Alfonso Celis AVF 54.928s
17 Nicholas Latifi Arden Motorsport 57.021s
18 Bruno Bonifacio International Draco Racing 1m04.154s
- Sean Gelael Jagonya Ayam with Carlin Retirement
- Philo Paz Armand Pons Racing Retirement

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Oliver Rowland 123
2 Matthieu Vaxiviere 107
3 Jazeman Jaafar 87
4 Dean Stoneman 68
5 Tom Dillmann 55
6 Nyck de Vries 46
7 Egor Orudzhev 40
8 Tio Ellinas 36
9 Roberto Merhi 26
10 Pietro Fantin 26
11 Gustav Malja 21
12 Meindert van Buuren 20
13 Aurelien Panis 18
14 Nicholas Latifi 16
15 Alfonso Celis 4
16 Roy Nissany 4
17 Sean Gelael 4
18 Beitske Visser 2
19 Alex Fontana 2
20 Bruno Bonifacio 1
21 Philo Paz Armand 1


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Hungaroring FR3.5: Lotus F1 protege Matthieu Vaxiviere takes pole

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