Matthieu Vaxiviere wins eventful Formula V8 3.5 race two at Spa

Matthieu Vaxiviere won an incident-packed Formula V8 3.5 race at Spa-Francorchamps, handing series newcomer SMP Racing a maiden victory in the category

Matthieu Vaxiviere wins eventful Formula V8 3.5 race two at Spa

Torrential rain and poor visibility contributed to a series of crashes, but Vaxiviere's only real drama came on the penultimate lap, shortly after taking the lead, when he suffered a twitching, aquaplaning, moment at Les Combes.

The same puddle had caused championship leader Tom Dillmann to pirouette out of first place.

The Frenchman continued, albeit cautiously, and claimed the runner-up position, 6.2 seconds in arrears of his compatriot.

Dillmann's AVF team-mate Alfonso Celis Jr scored his first FV8 3.5 podium in third after a mature drive.

Heavy rain gave race officials little option other than a safety-car start.

When racing began after three slow laps, Dillmann immediately made a break at the head of the pack.

Aided by clear visibility, he extended a three-second advantage over Lotus driver Roy Nissany and Arden's Aurelien Panis.

Vaxiviere held fourth spot from Rene Binder and the second Fortec entry of Pietro Fittipaldi at that point.

Dillmann, Nissany and Vaxiviere all made their mandatory pitstops on the same lap, but as the relatively slow-moving Nissany rejoined he was collected by Johnny Cecotto Jr.

The Venezuelan had pitted earlier and survived a pitlane collision that ended Saturday victor Egor Orudzhev's race.

Cecotto was launched over the rear of Nissany's car, with both ending their races nose first in the Eau Rouge tyre barrier.

The safety car re-emerged for another four laps, and as the pitstop window was not extended new leader Panis and second-placed Binder took their mandatory tyre changes on the following tour.

Dillmann assumed the lead from Vaxiviere only to spin at Les Combes in deep water and fall back.

Vaxiviere's win followed a disastrous Saturday when a parc ferme infringement cost him pole and the loss of his fastest qualifying lap on Sunday morning for a yellow flag indiscretion - though that didn't change his fourth place eon the grid.

Behind Celis - who benefited from being the earliest to pit - Vitor Baptista took fourth for RP Motorsport, ahead of Panis and Binder.

Sixth-qualifier Louis Deletraz stalled on the grid but was restarted in the pitlane.

He rejoined at the tail of the field, only to suffer a mechanical failure at the La Source hairpin as soon as green-flag racing began.

RESULTS - 13 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Matthieu Vaxiviere SMP Racing 43m24.368s
2 Tom Dillmann AVF 6.268s
3 Alfonso Celis AVF 10.277s
4 Vitor Baptista RP Motorsport 17.636s
5 Aurelien Panis Arden Motorsport 20.715s
6 Rene Binder Lotus 36.885s
7 Yu Kanamaru Teo Martin Motorsport 42.023s
8 Giuseppe Cipriani Durango Racing Team 58.157s
- Beitske Visser Teo Martin Motorsport Retirement
- Pietro Fittipaldi Fortec Motorsports Retirement
- Roy Nissany Lotus Retirement
- Johnny Cecotto Jr. RP Motorsport Retirement
- Matevos Isaakyan SMP Racing Retirement
- Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport Retirement
- Louis Deletraz Fortec Motorsports Retirement

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Pos Driver Points
1 Tom Dillmann 112
2 Louis Deletraz 77
3 Aurelien Panis 76
4 Matthieu Vaxiviere 63
5 Rene Binder 51
6 Johnny Cecotto Jr. 43
7 Roy Nissany 38
8 Yu Kanamaru 33
9 Alfonso Celis 28
10 Egor Orudzhev 27
11 Vitor Baptista 25
12 Beitske Visser 13
13 Pietro Fittipaldi 10
14 Giuseppe Cipriani 6
15 Matevos Isaakyan 1

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