Good result for Parente
By taking a superb victory here at Spa-Francorchamps, Alvaro Parente (Tech 1 Racing) has moved closer to the top of the Championship standings, still led by Sebastian Vettel. After Clivio Piccione (RC Motorsport) was forced to abandon in the closing stages, the remaining podium places went to Fairuz Fauzy (Cram Competition), who started from pole, and Ben Hanley (Cram Competition).
Fairuz Fauzy got off to a perfect start and Alvaro Barba (Draco Racing) slipped comfortably into his slipstream. But on the brakes into the Source hairpin, Miguel Molina (Pons Racing) flipped up and over his countryman ending up in the run-off area!
Bertrand Baguette (KTR), who'd also made an excellent start from the third row, moved into second ahead of Alvaro Parente, Clivio Piccione and Alvaro Barba, who was holding back the field after losing his rear wing. This ended up causing a collision which put Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin Motorsport) and Davide Valsecchi (Epsilon Euskadi) out of the race.
With two laps gone, Fauzy had opened up a small gap of two seconds over Baguette and Parente. Piccione was still holding onto third ahead of Ben Hanley, Salvador Duran (Interwetten.com), Giedo van der Garde (Victory Engineering), Filipe Albuquerque (Epsilon Euskadi), Milos Pavlovic (Draco Racing) and Marco Bonanomi (RC Motorsport). Parente's constant efforts to pass Baguette finally bore fruit: the Portuguese driver finally got the upper hand at the end of lap three. In the main field, there was a collision between Guillaume Moreau and James Walker, while Michael Herck was forced to abandon after running wide.
Clearly determined to go for the victory, Alvaro Parente was closing the gap up to Fairuz Fauzy. After five laps, the Portuguese driver was within 9/10ths of a second of his Malaysian rival. A few lengths back, Clivio Piccione had snatched third from Bertrand Baguette. Having clearly mastered the braking into the new chicane better than anyone else, Parente got the better of Fauzy at the start of lap seven. In a battle with Pavlovic and Iaconelli for ninth, Bonanomi decided it would be a good moment to come into the pits, as did Albuquerque. Fauzy, Hanley and Iaconelli made their stops one lap later. Parente and Piccione came in at the end of lap eight. Baguette took over at the front of the race for one lap only, before taking his turn to come into the pits.
Duran reached the midpoint in the race in the lead, but virtual lead belonged to Parente. The Portuguese regained the lead with twelve laps gone. Piccione had taken the tyre changes as an opportunity to get past Fauzy. Baguette was the one to lose the most ground as a result of the pit stops, ending up in sixth behind Hanley and Duran. The top ten was completed by Van der Garde, Albuquerque, Pavlovic and Bonanomi.
At the end of the race, Carlos Iaconelli (Pons Racing) managed to get the better of Bonanomi. On the final lap, Clivio Piccione's car let him down and he was forced to abandon, handing second place to Fairuz Fauzy!
Alvaro Parente: "The start wasn't brilliant. The car in front of me stalled, then I tried to avoid Molina. From then on in, the car was perfect and I went right on the attack. I should also thank the team who did an excellent pit-stop."
Fairuz Fauzy: "I started the race well, but was unable to hold Alvaro back. The team put in a good pit-stop and I'm happy to take another second place."
Ben Hanley: "I really wasn't hoping to finish on the podium after starting from row six, but it suddenly came good when Clivio abandoned in the closing stages. It's a good result towards the Championship standings."