Jerez Formula V8 3.5: Roy Nissany wins race one from Fittipaldi
Roy Nissany claimed a commanding first win of 2017 for RP Motorsport in the first Formula V8 3.5 race at Jerez
Egor Orudzhev had lined up on pole, but was caught by surprise by a short hold on the lights, allowing Nissany to steal into the lead and pull away by almost two seconds.
Despite setting the fastest lap early on in the race, Orudzhev then pulled off the circuit with an apparent loss of power - causing a safety car and promoting Lotus driver Pietro Fittipaldi into second.
Fittipaldi moved to overtake around the outside of Nissany at the restart, but was unable to make the move stick. The pair remained close to one another until the end of the race, but ultimately Fittipaldi ran out of time to make another move and came home in second.
Matevos Isaakyan completed the podium for SMP Racing by AVF with third place, while championship leader Rene Binder, Fittipaldi's Lotus team-mate, was behind him in fourth.
Teo Martin Motorsport's Nelson Mason and Force India reserve driver Alfonso Celis Jr enjoyed a tight battle for sixth throughout the race, but Mason managed to fend off Celis' challenges to hold onto sixth.
Yu Kanamaru was eighth ahead of Konstantin Tereshchenko in ninth, while Giuseppe Cipriani crossed the line in 10th to complete the field after Damiano Fioravanti failed to start.
The 2015 Formula Renault 3.5 season will be notable for being the last with the French company's backing but also produced a worthy champion in Oliver Rowland. PETER MILLS evaluates this year's crop of drivers
Last year's field was extraordinary and hard to match, but the Formula Renault 3.5 grid will still have plenty of talent this season. Glenn Freeman runs through the field ahead of this weekend's season opener
Landing the Fortec seat that took rising star Robin Frijns to the 2012 FR3.5 title was already a good sign for Stoffel Vandoorne. Then McLaren took him under its wing. Peter Mills tells Vandoorne's story so far