Spa FR3.5: Rowland beats de Vries and Vaxiviere in race two

Oliver Rowland gathered fresh momentum in his title assault with a second victory of the Formula Renault 3.5 season at Spa-Francorchamps

Spa FR3.5: Rowland beats de Vries and Vaxiviere in race two

From pole position, the Racing Steps-backed Fortec driver commanded the race throughout, and only slowed in the closing laps to minimise risks when a light shower hit the circuit.

McLaren protege Nyck de Vries equalled the best result of his three-round FR3.5 career by successfully fending off the advances of race one victor Matthieu Vaxiviere in the fight for second.

DAMS racer de Vries jumped ahead of slow-starting front row man Tio Ellinas into the La Source hairpin away from the lights to slot in behind Rowland.

The Dutchman only came under attack when Vaxiviere closed in on him at nearly two seconds a lap in the dying stages of the race, but skilfully defended his position before the Frenchman eased off from his challenge on the final tour.

"Ideally I wanted Nyck behind me in the early laps, because we both we were on low downforce," said Rowland.

"I was hoping he could hold the others up if they proved to be quicker, but I think we were fastest on the first stint.

"I kept pushing right up until the final five laps, because I wanted an advantage in case the rain came. When it did, I was pretty worried."

De Vries was equally satisfied following his strong drive, and in seeing off Vaxiviere - who had opted for high-downforce settings that proved ideal for the track conditions in the closing laps.

"It was an exciting end," said the Dutch racer. "Usually everyone has eight DRS pulses, but for some reason today it was unlimited, so I felt that might put us at a disadvantage.

"[The fight with Vaxiviere] was similar to the one we had at the opening race in Motorland, fortunately it worked out better this time."

De Vries' DAMS stablemate Dean Stoneman had a three-car train of Dallaras queuing up behind him in the battle for fourth as the race reached its climax.

Stoneman survived a messy final corner at the Bus Stop that worked in the Red Bull junior driver's favour to narrowly claim the spot.

Cypriot Ellinas had been on the receiving end of a last corner lunge by Jazeman Jaafar, incredibly up from last on the grid after a scrutineering issue post-qualifying.

Both men survived to take the chequered flag in fifth and sixth - the order unchanged from the preceding tour.

Carlin's former GP2 racer Tom Dillmann suffered damage in an incident involving Nicholas Latifi on the opening lap.

RESULTS - 21 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 43m42.477s
2 Nyck de Vries DAMS 2.399s
3 Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 2.946s
4 Dean Stoneman DAMS 13.938s
5 Tio Ellinas Strakka Racing 14.392s
6 Jazeman Jaafar Fortec Motorsports 14.926s
7 Aurelien Panis Tech 1 Racing 15.084s
8 Pietro Fantin International Draco Racing 15.617s
9 Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport 17.453s
10 Meindert van Buuren Lotus 23.757s
11 Alfonso Celis AVF 38.223s
12 Sean Gelael Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 39.006s
13 Nicholas Latifi Arden Motorsport 54.424s
14 Gustav Malja Strakka Racing 1m01.603s
15 Philo Paz Armand Pons Racing 1m13.978s
16 Tom Dillmann Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1m32.195s
- Bruno Bonifacio International Draco Racing Retirement
- Roberto Merhi Pons Racing Retirement
- Beitske Visser AVF Retirement
- Roy Nissany Tech 1 Racing Retirement

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Oliver Rowland 83
2 Matthieu Vaxiviere 77
3 Jazeman Jaafar 75
4 Dean Stoneman 60
5 Nyck de Vries 44
6 Tom Dillmann 35
7 Tio Ellinas 28
8 Pietro Fantin 22
9 Meindert van Buuren 19
10 Nicholas Latifi 16
11 Egor Orudzhev 15
12 Aurelien Panis 12
13 Gustav Malja 5
14 Alfonso Celis 4
15 Sean Gelael 4
16 Alex Fontana 2
16 Roberto Merhi 2
18 Bruno Bonifacio 1
19 Philo Paz Armand 1

shares
comments
Spa FR3.5: Oliver Rowland denies Tio Ellinas pole for race two

Previous article

Spa FR3.5: Oliver Rowland denies Tio Ellinas pole for race two

Next article

Formula Renault 3.5 changes race format after Spa crash and vote

Formula Renault 3.5 changes race format after Spa crash and vote
Load comments
How the post-Renault 3.5 series is shaping up Plus

How the post-Renault 3.5 series is shaping up

When Renault ended its support of its 3.5 Formula, there were fears about the category's future. But as PETER MILLS explains, the rebadged FV8 3.5 series has retained an appeal to drivers

Formula V8 3.5
Feb 3, 2016
The all-time FR3.5 top 10 Plus

The all-time FR3.5 top 10

An era ended in 2015 as Renault withdrew its backing of Formula Renault 3.5. GLENN FREEMAN and PETER MILLS pick the 10 best drivers from the World Series by Renault years

Formula V8 3.5
Jan 8, 2016
The top 10 FR3.5 drivers of 2015 Plus

The top 10 FR3.5 drivers of 2015

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

Formula V8 3.5
Nov 17, 2015
Renault's ladder to Formula 1 Plus

Renault's ladder to Formula 1

Since 2005 the World Series by Renault package has launched a host of young stars on the path to Formula 1. But there's much more to the events, both on and off the track

Formula V8 3.5
Aug 13, 2015
The top 10 FR3.5 drivers of 2014 Plus

The top 10 FR3.5 drivers of 2014

The field was perhaps not as strong as in the previous season, but Carlos Sainz Jr emerged as a worthy Formula Renault 3.5 champion. GLENN FREEMAN rates the top 2014 drivers

Formula V8 3.5
Nov 11, 2014
The top 10 FR3.5 drivers of 2013 Plus

The top 10 FR3.5 drivers of 2013

There were some standout performances in the Formula Renault 3.5 title race this year, but one racer stood above all the others. GLENN FREEMAN looks back and picks out his top 10 drivers

Formula V8 3.5
Nov 15, 2013
The 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 grid guide Plus

The 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 grid guide

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

Formula V8 3.5
Apr 4, 2013
Vandoorne: future McLaren F1 star? Plus

Vandoorne: future McLaren F1 star?

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

Formula V8 3.5
Feb 20, 2013