Marcos Martinez extended his Formula Renault 3.5 Series points lead with a flawless fourth win of the season in round five at Silverstone
The Pons driver got the jump on championship rival, and reverse-grid polesitter, Bertrand Baguette away from the line before withstanding a spirited challenge from Fairuz Fauzy over the closing laps.
To complete Martinez's celebrations, the Spaniard will now sample a 2008 Renault R28 Formula 1 car as his prize for leading the series at the halfway stage.
"My start was really good," said Martinez, "but I had to push very hard to keep Baguette behind in the early laps. Once I was five or six seconds ahead I had to push again as Fauzy was closing on me very quickly and my tyres were really bad. It is going to be a great experience to drive the Formula 1 car, World Series to F1 in ten minutes!"
Polesitter Baguette maintained contact with Martinez over the early laps but, under concerted pressure from Fauzy, out-braked himself at Abbey on lap 18 and dropped four positions through a grassy excursion.
Once unleashed from behind Baguette, Fauzy put in the drive of the race to whittle down a 4.6-second deficit to close to within half a second of Martinez. However, the Malaysian's tyres were unable to sustain the pace being asked of them, leaving Fauzy to opt for a safe second place.
"What a day," said Fauzy. "Baguette was getting slower and slower, I think he was struggling for grip, but the longer I was stuck behind him the more I struggled with grip too - because of the aero effect.
"Once through, I saw the pit board and there was only eight minutes left. I was really pushing, but I think Martinez had a little bit more tyre left than me as he had been out in the lead all race."
Oliver Turvey claimed third place, as the Carlin driver narrowly avoided collecting Baguette as the Draco racer rejoined the circuit from his misdemeanour.
Friday's pacesetter James Walker took a restrained fourth. The Jersey driver's P1 Motorsport team-mate Danill Move started from third on the grid but lost the opportunity for a solid points haul by running onto the grass at Vale on lap three. The error necessitated a pitstop to remove grass from his sidepods.
Red Bull young guns Brendon Hartley and Jaime Alguersuari also benefited from Baguette's late lapse to complete the top six; Alguersuari braving it around the outside of Baguette at Priory.
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Marcos Martinez Pons 45m49.264s 2. Fairuz Fauzy Fortec + 1.227s 3. Oliver Turvey Carlin + 3.218s 4. James Walker P1 + 5.105s 5. Brendon Hartley Tech 1 + 6.111s 6. Jaime Alguersuari Carlin + 6.717s 7. Charles Pic Tech 1 + 11.978s 8. Bertrand Baguette Draco + 15.501s 9. Miguel Molina Ultimate + 15.893s 10. Marco Barba Draco + 18.178s 11. Greg Mansell Ultimate + 19.105s 12. Adrian Valles Epsilon Euskadi + 19.480s 13. Adrian Zaugg Interwetten + 21.785s 14. Sten Pentus Fortec + 22.207s 15. Federico Leo Pons + 39.219s 16. Guillaume Moreau SG + 39.913s 17. Julian Leal Prema + 51.516s 18. Daniil Move P1 + 51.800s 19. Filip Salaquarda Prema +1m10.775s 20. Michael Herck Interwetten +1m11.853s 21. John Martin Comtec + 1 lap 22. Jon Lancaster Comtec + 1 lap Retirements: Pasquale di Sabatino RC 5 laps Chris van der Drift Epsilon Euskadi 4 laps Anton Nebylitskiy SG 0 laps
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