Nurburgring Formula V8 3.5: Palou takes maiden victory in the wet

Alex Palou took his maiden Formula V8 3.5 victory in a lights-to-flag performance in just his second outing, at the Nurburgring

Nurburgring Formula V8 3.5: Palou takes maiden victory in the wet

Palou, who is stepping in for Nelson Mason at Teo Martin Motorsport this weekend because of budget issues, dealt with the wet conditions with ease as he fought off the attentions of race one winner Matevos Isaakyan.

Prior to the race, the only knowledge Palou had of a wet Nurburgring was from studying on-board videos, but after running the first two laps under the safety car he appeared to be a natural.

Rivals Isaakyan outbraked himself at Turn 2 and ran onto the astroturf run-off in his battle to claim second from Diego Menchaca. He got the move done at Turn 5 as Menchaca was struggling for traction.

The field got just one lap of green flag running before the safety car was called for again as Giuseppe Cipriani found himself stranded on the kerbs at the exit of Turn 4 and retired from the race.

The lack of grip was an issue most of the field complained about, as the low-grip Nurburgring circuit became an ice rink in the wet.

A dry line started to form in the second half of the race and that was when SMP Racing by AVF played a tactical masterstroke with its mandatory pitstops.

Pitting Isaakyan and Egor Orudzhev roughly at the halfway mark of the 40-minute race, the pair had more time to adjust to running on slick tyres and quickly found themselves behind Palou in the podium places.

As Palou pitted with 15 minutes to go, Isaakyan inherited the lead for a time, but a trip through the gravel after outbraking himself at Turn 1 gave Palou back the lead and didn't relinquish.

Isaakyan had fallen to third in the closing stages, but a 10-second penalty for Konstantin Tereschenko for crossing the white line when exiting the pits allowed Isaakyan to claim second place and the points lead.

Orudzhev made it a double podium for SMP/AVF with a trouble-free run to third with Tereschenko falling in behind.

Erstwhile championship leader Pietro Fittipaldi couldn't make up any places from his starting position of sixth, but his nearest rival Rene Binder could only make up one place from 10th.

RESULTS - 20 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Alex Palou Teo Martin Motorsport 42m06.724s
2 Matevos Isaakyan SMP Racing by AVF 9.541s
3 Egor Orudzhev SMP Racing by AVF 14.319s
4 Konstantin Tereschenko Teo Martin Motorsport 18.692s
5 Roy Nissany RP Motorsport 20.873s
6 Pietro Fittipaldi Lotus 29.918s
7 Yu Kanamaru RP Motorsport 41.830s
8 Alfonso Celis Fortec Motorsports 44.482s
9 Rene Binder Lotus 1m02.432s
10 Diego Menchaca Fortec Motorsports 1 Lap
- Damiano Fioravanti RP Motorsport Retirement
- Giuseppe Cipriani Il Barone Rampante Retirement

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Matevos Isaakyan 163
2 Pietro Fittipaldi 158
3 Egor Orudzhev 155
4 Alfonso Celis 150
5 Roy Nissany 148
6 Rene Binder 140
7 Yu Kanamaru 71
8 Konstantin Tereschenko 57
9 Diego Menchaca 53
10 Nelson Mason 42
11 Damiano Fioravanti 36
12 Alex Palou 25
13 Giuseppe Cipriani 10

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Nurburgring Formula V8 3.5: Isaakyan wins, drama for Fittipaldi

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