Hungaroring FR3.5: Orudzhev denies Merhi and Rowland in epic race

Rookie Egor Orudzhev claimed his maiden Formula Renault 3.5 victory after emerging on top from a thrilling five-car battle at the Hungaroring

Hungaroring FR3.5: Orudzhev denies Merhi and Rowland in epic race

The Russian outdragged fishtailing polesitter Oliver Rowland into the lead away from the lights, and spent the rest of the race fiercely and skilfully defending his position.

"I was lucky that it was almost impossible to pass on this track, as I was completely destroyed in 20 minutes," said Orudzhev.

"I saved my DRS for the last five laps, but it was really tough, the most difficult race of my life, probably."

Rowland initially dropped behind championship rival Matthieu Vaxiviere on the run down to Turn 1, but recovered the position later round the opening tour.

A wrong-footed Vaxiviere was also demoted by Orudzhev's Arden team-mate Nicholas Latifi, who had charged from seventh on the grid into third.

The battle overheated on lap five when the pair made contact on the exit of Turn 1.

Canadian Latifi was forced to retire with a left-rear puncture, but Lotus Formula 1 junior driver Vaxiviere survived the scare.

In the second half of the race, a gaggle of four cars consisting of Rowland, Vaxiviere, Manor Formula 1 driver Roberto Merhi and former GP2 ace Tom Dillmann former behind Orudzhev's gearbox.

There were numerous wild moments. First Frenchman Vaxiviere ran completely off the road at the fast Turn 11 right-hander.

Rowland found the grass at Turn 12 and took to the run-off on the exit of Turn 3 in his efforts to wrestle the lead from Orudzhev before he could come under attack from his closest championship rival Vaxiviere.

But it was Pons driver Merhi who was able to make his overtaking attempts stick.

The Spaniard, who has endured a troubled season in FR3.5 alongside his F1 campaign, first grabbed third from Vaxiviere on lap 25 of 27, before stealing second position from Rowland into the final corner on the last lap.

Behind the breathless lead battle action, Red Bull junior Dean Stoneman completed the top six for DAMS.

Monaco winner Jazeman Jaafar sustained a puncture and finished down in 18th.

RESULTS - 27 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport 42m35.436s
2 Roberto Merhi Pons Racing 0.413s
3 Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 0.450s
4 Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 1.323s
5 Tom Dillmann Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1.745s
6 Dean Stoneman DAMS 3.310s
7 Aurelien Panis Tech 1 Racing 4.321s
8 Roy Nissany Tech 1 Racing 9.427s
9 Beitske Visser AVF 27.475s
10 Gustav Malja Strakka Racing 27.711s
11 Nyck de Vries DAMS 32.986s
12 Bruno Bonifacio International Draco Racing 36.294s
13 Philo Paz Armand Pons Racing 37.024s
14 Alfonso Celis AVF 38.052s
15 Sean Gelael Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 38.697s
16 Meindert van Buuren Lotus 40.190s
17 Tio Ellinas Strakka Racing 42.784s
18 Jazeman Jaafar Fortec Motorsports 47.016s
- Pietro Fantin International Draco Racing Retirement
- Nicholas Latifi Arden Motorsport Retirement


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Hungaroring FR3.5: Olvier Rowland denies rookie Egor Orudzhev pole

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