Walker on the moon James Walker (Fortec Motorsport) avoided the potential pitfalls of this second race to pocket his first win in World Series Formula Renault 3.5. Guillaume Moreau (KTR) secured his first podium finish after beating Marco...
Walker on the moon
James Walker (Fortec Motorsport) avoided the potential pitfalls of this second race to pocket his first win in World Series Formula Renault 3.5. Guillaume Moreau (KTR) secured his first podium finish after beating Marco Bonanomi (RC Motorsport) to second place. Both Parente and Hanley were out of the points today.
Lined up on the outside of the front row, Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin Motorsport) surprised James Walker and approached the opening bend in first place. Davide Valsecchi was forced off by Miguel Molina just a few seconds in, but was able to get away again. The first lap was somewhat agitated, with Bertrand Baguette going into a spin right in the thick of the field.
Aleshin wasted no time in extending his lead over Walker, who was being put under pressure by Marco Bonanomi and Guillaume Moreau. Alvaro Parente (Tech 1 Racing) ran off into the gravel and fell back to 11th place. A few lengths back from Moreau, Yelmer Buurman (Fortec Motorsport) had now opened up a substantial gap over Michael Ammermuller (Carlin Motorsport), Filipe Albuquerque (Epsilon Euskadi), Milos Pavlovic (Draco Racing) and Ben Hanley (Prema Powerteam). Parente soon joined this chasing pack.
Guillaume Moreau had to wait until lap 10 to get past Marco Bonanomi. The Frenchman then set out in pursuit of James Walker. Back in the main field, race 1 winner Alvaro Barba made an error that saw him crash into the tyre wall, bringing his race to a premature end. The battle for eighth spot between Pavlovic, Hanley, Parente and Duran was still raging. Another slip-up saw Parente drop out of the points.
Meanwhile, Buurman, Ammermuller and Albuquerque were involved in an equally absorbing tussle for fifth place. Molina, who was lying in twelfth position, was handed a drive-through penalty for his manoeuvre at the start of the race. Hanley and Pavlovic then collided and were forced to retire.
Pippa Mann, who had been driving a good race in the middle of the field, was run into by Clivio Piccione before spinning off with Charlie Kimball. When the young British driver stalled at the chicane, she had no choice but to call it a day, and out came the safety car. Obviously struggling to come to terms with a lively car, Alvaro Parente then span off.
With 18 of the scheduled 31 laps completed, the race order was as follows: Aleshin, Walker, Moreau, Bonanomi, Buurman, Ammermuller, Albuquerque, Jousse, Duran and Baguette. The race resumed for a further ten laps. Surprised by his cold brakes and tyres, Mikhail Aleshin made a mistake. The Russian then erred for a second time, running into Bertrand Baguette just as the safety car was brought out again.
When action resumed, James Walker was able to put some open track between himself and Guillaume Moreau. Striving to clock the fastest race lap, Alvaro Parente once again crashed off, and this time there was no coming back. At the end of their epic battle, Alejandro NuÃ±ez (Red Devil Comtec) and Fairuz Fauzy (Cram Competition) both made it into the points by finishing in the top ten.
James Walker: "This is a dream come true! We've done a lot of work with the team since the start of the season. I was disappointed with my qualifying this weekend, but finishing tenth meant I could start from pole today. We're going to try to carry on improving until the end of the season."
Guillaume Moreau: "I just missed out on a win at Budapest, I broke my finger at Spa -- and here I am on the podium despite messing up my start! I hope my bad luck is behind me now and that I'll do better still at Magny-Cours."
Marco Bonanomi: "I've made a lot of mistakes in the last few races and that's cost me a lot of points. I hope things carry on like this..."