Jerez FR3.5: De Vries scores maiden victory in season finale

Nyck de Vries claimed his first victory in the Formula Renault 3.5 series in the second race at Jerez, which served as the final round of the championship's 11-year run under the French manufacturer's patronage.

The Dutchman's victory was also DAMS' first of the year and maintained the team's streak of taking at least one win each season since its return to the category in 2012.

The McLaren junior got ahead of the-slow starting Matthieu Vaxiviere to grab second and then claim the lead when Oliver Rowland ran wide on the slightly wet surface at the chicane on lap one.

By the end of the opening lap, the safety car made an appearance after Nikita Zlobin got his car trapped in the gravel.

De Vries had dominant pace after the restart, consistently pulling away from Egor Orudzhev, who had also passed Vaxiviere at the start and had to subsequently withstand increasing pressure from the Lotus driver.

Just as they were reaching the pitstops, the Frenchman was all over the Russian, but Orudzhev kept him at bay, showcasing the defensive skills he’s become famous for over this year.

Vaxiviere eventually got a run on him to take the place on the main straight but the duo made contact in the process, which resulted in a puncture for Orudzhev.

The Frenchman went in to complete his mandatory pitstop at the end of the lap and fell behind Rowland, who changed tyres a lap before.

By the time all the drivers pitted, a second safety car stint began after Roy Nissany retired in the barriers with a rear puncture.

Despite losing his lead of 10 seconds, De Vries had a great restart to lead by 1.7s after one lap and easily took the chequered flag in first.

The podium was completed by Rowland and Vaxiviere followed by the Strakka duo of Tio Ellinas and Gustav Malja, the former securing fourth place in the standings.

Unable to pass Malja in the end, Tom Dillmann had to settle for sixth followed by Orudzhev, who completed an impressive recovery after his puncture.

The top 10 was completed by Jazeman Jaafar, Sean Gelael and Nicholas Latifi.

Thanks to his victory, de Vries grabbed third in the standings with Ellinas, Orudzhev and Dean Stoneman rounding out the top six.

Stoneman, ninth on the grid, had an impressive getaway but made contact with Alfonso Celis while trying to pass the Mexican, which forced both of them to retire.

Race results:

Pos. Driver Team Time/Gap
Nyck de Vries DAMS 41'36.996
Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 2.509
Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 2.584
Tio Ellinas Strakka Racing 4.084
Gustav Malja Strakka Racing 13.411
Tom Dillmann Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 14.197
Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport 14.646
Jazeman Jaafar Fortec Motorsports 15.024
Sean Gelael Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 15.650
10  Nicholas Latifi Arden Motorsport 16.553
11  Yu Kanamaru Pons Racing 16.853
12  Andre Negrao International Draco Racing 16.959
13  Aurelien Panis Tech 1 Racing 17.611
14  Marlon Stockinger Lotus 26.844
Beitske Visser AVF  
Roy Nissany Tech 1 Racing  
Alfonso Celis AVF  
Nikita Zlobin Pons Racing  
Dean Stoneman DAMS  

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Event Jerez
Track Circuito de Jerez
Drivers Matthieu Vaxivière , Nyck de Vries , Oliver Rowland
Teams DAMS
Article type Race report