Like a fish to water
Robert Kubica (Epsilon Euskadi) took his third victory of the season on a drenched track here at Oschersleben. The Polish driver was joined on the podium by Tristan Gommendy (KTR) and Andreas Zuber (Carlin Motorsport). It was also a great result for Kubica in terms of the World Series overall standings as Power abandoned the race.
Just as all the cars had lined up on the starting grid, a heavy downpour hit the circuit. The start was postponed to give all the teams the time to fit rain tyres and change their setups to suit the new conditions.J The track was completely drenched and Fernando Rees (Interwetten.com) soon paid the price as he span his car on the warm-up lap. But the Brazilian was still able to line up for the start.
Robert Kubica managed to surprise Will Power (Carlin Motorsport) from the start and got the better of him. Driving through a wall of spray, Power was followed by Tristan Gommendy (KTR), Andreas Zuber (Carlin), Marcus Winkelhock and Christian Montanari (Draco Multiracing USA).
There was no shortage of spectacular incidents as Tomas Kostka (Victory Engineering) ran off into the gravel trap and Colin Fleming (Jenzer Motorsport) and Fernando Rees both span their cars. Even Tristan Gommendy took a quick diversion via the gravel trap, but the Frenchman managed to limit the damage and hold onto third!
Will Power was not so lucky: the Australian abandoned, handing second to Gommendy. From then on, all Carlin Motorsport's hopes were resting on the shoulders of Andreas Zuber, who inherited third.J Three drivers picked up 'drive through' penalties for not having fitted all their tyres before the '5 minutes' sign was shown at the start: Jaap Van Lagen (KTR), Tomas Kostka and Milos Pavlovic (GD Racing).
The following laps saw Simon Pagenaud (DHG Saulnier Racing), Celso Miguez (Pons Racing), Giorgio Mondini (Eurointernational) and Giovanni Tedeschi (RC Motorsport) all abandon after crashing out. The safety car had to be called out on lap eight as Tedeschi's Formula Renault 3.5 was left standing in the middle of the track.
Racing resumed at the end of lap 12. Kubica, Gommendy, Zuber were still leading ahead of Alx Danielsson (Dams) and Adrian Valles (Pons Racing). Gommendy was not about to be dropped and managed to keep the leader under pressure. But he was unable to find a way past and Kubica managed to open up the gap again before taking the chequered flag for his third victory this season!
Eric Salignon (Cram Competition), who was in sixth, was the next driver to see his name added to the list of retirees. In all, only 14 cars managed to make it to the finish line, the smallest number to complete a race this season.
Robert Kubica: "It was our first race in the wet. I got off to a good start and I was having trouble to stay on the track on the first few laps, but then I saw Power was no longer there. Then Tristan started to go very well. This victory is very important for the Championship standings."
Tristan Gommendy: "I started with very high tyre pressures and I was fastest at the start of the race. After the safety car came out, things were more difficult, but it's always good to take a second place."J Andreas Zuber: "This was the most difficult race of my career. You couldn't see a thing on the opening laps but it's good to be back on the podium!"