Double Podium Finish in Spa for Molina Greg Mansell ( ...
Double Podium Finish in Spa for Molina
Greg Mansell (#3):
Start Position: 15th Race Position: 9th
Miguel Molina (#4):
Start position: 3rd Race Position: 3rd
Miguel Molina took his second podium finish of the weekend, finishing third in Round 4 of the Formula Renault 3.5 at Spa-Francorchamps. Greg Mansell also had his best finish in the championship so far; finishing 9th from 15th on the grid to claim two more championship points and also stand on the second step of the Rookie podium.
At the start Molina made up one place at the first corner to move into second and get alongside Bertrand Bagette to challenge the Belgian driver for the lead on the run down to Eau Rouge. The Spaniard tucked in behind Bagette on the long run up the hill to Les Combes with Charles Pic in third place. Greg Mansell didn't get a good start and ended lap one in 16th place.
Pic was all over the back of Molina's car on the run into Les Combes for the second time and the French driver pulled out of the slipstream to try an overtaking manoeuvre on the outside but left his braking late and had to take to the grass as did Molina's Ultimate Motorsport Renault. The Spanish driver regained the track only losing one place to James Walker. A crash between Adrian Valles and Chris Van Der Drift at Malmedy brought the safety car out to slow the field down.
When racing resumed Greg Mansell was one of the first cars into the pitlane for his mandatory stop, followed by Miguel Molina. Once the pitstops had been completed Mansell started to move up the field, quickly picking up four places to be placed just outside the top 10. Miguel Molina was unable to make an impression on the leading pair of cars of James Walker and Bertrand Baguette and had to settle for his second 3rd placed finish of the weekend.
Greg Mansell moved into the top 10 when Marco Barba spun off the track two laps from the flag and then received a further move up the grid after the chequered flag when Oliver Turvey was given a 25-second penalty for an earlier infringement. He was the second Rookie driver across the line three places behind Jaime Alguersuari.
Miguel Molina: "I did a good start, up to P2. I was with Pic and I went off onto the grass a little bit but the car was OK. I had the oil alarm on the dashboard but it was OK and had a good fight with Move, but I was able to overtake him so it was OK. The pitstop was also OK; we finished in P3 and we took some good points for the championship. We're now fourth in the championship and I'm looking forward to Monaco. The team did a good job and two podium finishes at Spa was really good."
Greg Mansell: "I got a bad start, I had a problem with the clutch. It was an exciting start to the race with the safety car and the accident. I just had to bide my time to the first stop. I think we only did one flying lap after the safety car before we stopped. The team did a good job; I think we got the jump on one car in the pits and it was just a matter of getting my head down and putting some good laps in. We kind of went the wrong way on the set up a little bit compared to yesterday but it was a good solid race and we managed to keep it on the track. Once again we learnt a lot and we have just got to keep the momentum going now."
Colin Morgan, Team Manager: "We did a lot better job; we're back to our usual high standard and looking good for Monaco. Our race pace wasn't as good in the second race as it was in the first race but both drivers did a sterling job to pick up their podium places. This weekend we have returned to the first division compared to where we were in Barcelona."
Rounds 5 & 6 of the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship takes place on May 23 and 24 in Monaco when the championship is a support series to the FIA Formula One World Championship on the most famous street circuit in the world.