First win for Fairuz Fauzy
Fairuz Fauzy (Mofaz Fortec Motorsport) led the race from start to finish to take his first win in Formula Renault 3.5 Series. Benefitting from the reverse grid procedure, the Malay driver led into the first bend and successfully contained Marco Barba (International Draco Racing) and Bertrand Baguette (International Draco Racing) all the way to the chequered flag.
With the advantage of the reverse grid procedure, Fairuz Fauzy started the first race on pole ahead of Marco Barba, Brendon Hartley (Tech 1 Racing) and Bertrand Baguette. When the lights went out, Fauzy led into corner one despite the threat from Brendon Hartley. But the Briton braked too late and span off. Fauzy led the race from then on, chased by Marco Barba, Bertrand Baguette, James Walker (P1 Motorsport) and Jaime Alguersuari (Carlin Motorsport). Further back, Michael Herck (Interwetten.com Racing) hit the pit wall at the start after making contact with Federico Leo (Pons Racing).
The four leaders quickly created a gap, with Fauzy ahead of Barba, Baguette and Walker. Behind them, Jaime Alguersuari had to contend with Marcos Martinez and Miguel Molina, always looking for opportunities to pass. Back in the main field, Daniil Move (P1 Motorsport), in eleventh place, was also doing his best to fend off challenges from Charles Pic (Tech 1 Racing) and Edoardo Mortara (KMP Group / SG Formula). The two chasers got increasingly impatient with every passing lap. Then Charles Pic made a first attack and Edoardo Mortara took advantage of it to get past the Frenchman before moving on Daniil Move.
At the front, the positions stabilized with seven cars spread over just six seconds. With drivers settling into observation mode, the arrival of the safety car, after Filip Salaquarda (Prema Powerteam) went off the track, produced a regrouping of the field. At the restart, Fairuz Fauzy held his lead, ahead of Barba, Baguette, Walker and Alguersuari. Meanwhile Marcos Martinez was obliged to contain Miguel Molina, Oliver Turvey (Carlin Motorsport) and Jon Lancaster (Comtec Racing), all determined to shake up the established order.
But the rankings were to stay put to the finish. So Fairuz Fauzy succeeded in taking his first win of the season ahead of Marco Barba and Bertrand Baguette. The Belgian driver caught up some points on Marcos Martinez, who finished sixth. Jaime Alguersuari, in fifth place, was the first of the Rookies.
Fairuz Fauzy: "We were hoping for points this weekend, but we weren't expecting to win. The start was dicy, when Brendon Hartley braked very late-- Afterwards, my brakes tended to get very hot. With the others chasing me, I had to keep very focussed. The safety car helped me a bit too. After that I managed the situation to the end of the race. I'm really happy with this first win."
Marco Barba: "The podium feels good after a difficult start to the season. I'm at last scoring some important points and that is pleasing, because I arrived full of hope for this season and things haven't gone to plan up to now. Bertrand is on the podium too, that's very positive for the team."
Bertrand Baguette: "It's not a bad result. I catch up a few points on Miguel Molina, James Walker and Marcos Martinez. I was never in a position to attack Marco. I got dirt on my front tires and I never really got them cleaned up, so I was lacking a little grip. It's good to put some podium finishes together. We have some things to improve for tomorrow's race and we'll try to be in the first three again!"