Rowland wins at Jerez, DAMS picks up another title
The protégé of the Racing Steps Foundation scored his second triumph of the season.
Starting from the pole position, Oliver Rowland (Fortec Motorsports) won the final race of season ten of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. The protégé of the Racing Steps Foundation scored his second triumph of the season ahead of Nicholas Latifi (Tech 1 Racing) and William Buller (Arden Motorsport).
Thanks to his fourth place result, Pierre Gasly (Arden Motorsport), winner of the 2013 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, finishes runner-up to fellow Red Bull Junior Team driver, Carlos Sainz (DAMS). DAMS claimed its second consecutive team title with a three point advantage from Fortec Motorsports. This is the fourth crown for the French squad in the category since its return in 2012.
I am not in control of my future, but I think it would be in my interest to put in a second season here.
Having lost any chance for the title the day before, Roberto Merhi (Zeta Corse) posted the best time in qualifying before receiving a two-place penalty for blocking a competitor. Oliver Rowland and Pierre Gasly moved inherited the front row. Nicholas Latifi and William Buller completed the top five.
When the lights went out, Pierre Gasly tried without success to intimidate Oliver Rowland, who held on to the lead. Roberto Merhi followed while William Buller passed Nicholas Latifi, who was under threat from Oscar Tunjo (Pons Racing). Further back Luca Ghiotto (International Draco Racing) and Roman Mavlanov (Zeta Corse) collided and then retired.
During the mandatory pit stops, Roberto Merhi lost all hope for the podium. The Spaniard dropped out two laps later. Pierre Gasly also struggled allowing William Buller and Nicholas Latifi to get past. Contact between Matias Laine (Strakka Racing) and Jazeman Jaafar (ISR) brought out the safety car.
Oliver Rowland went on for a comfortable win with a seven-second margin of victory from Nicholas Latifi, who passed William Buller at the restart. Pierre Gasly finished behind his team mate. Sergey Sirotkin (Fortec Motorsports) finished fifth ahead of Pietro Fantin (International Draco Racing) and Oscar Tunjo. The Lotus duo of Matthieu Vaxiviere and Marlon Stockinger, as well as Norman Nato (DAMS) complete the list of point scorers.
Oliver Rowland: “We came here knowing that we are competitive here. I inherited the pole a little bit by surprise, but Pierre and Roberto started strong while I got a good start! The car was fantastic and I thank the team for that. Fourth for my first year with two victories is very good. I am not in control of my future, but I think it would be in my interest to put in a second season here.”
Nicholas Latifi: “This is just my third weekend and this podium is more than I expected. We were unlucky yesterday with a problem just before the start, but we knew we had the pace. I wanted to get a good result to show my potential. I will probably run a full-season in 2015.”
William Buller: It has been a poor year for me. After a good result in qualifying, a good pit stop, I just wanted to make it to the end. It is good to finish the season with a podium. I have a few options for next year, but nothing is secured yet.”
Provisional General Classification *
1. C. Sainz – 227 points, 2. P. Gasly – 192, 3. R. Merhi – 183, 4. O. Rowland – 181, 5. S. Sirotkin – 132, …
*Subject to confirmation of the results following the technical and sporting verifications.
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