Duran pulls one out of the bag From fifth on the grid, Salvador Duran (Interwetten.com) produced a mammoth effort to chalk up his first race win of the season. The Mexican driver was joined on the podium by two Spaniards: Marcos Martinez ...
Duran pulls one out of the bag
From fifth on the grid, Salvador Duran (Interwetten.com) produced a mammoth effort to chalk up his first race win of the season. The Mexican driver was joined on the podium by two Spaniards: Marcos Martinez (Pons Racing) and Alvaro Barba (Prema Powerteam).
In front of a big crowd, Alvaro Barba lined up in pole position ahead of Fabio Carbone (Ultimate Signature), Marco Barba (Draco Racing) and Marcos Martinez. Martinez got off to a flyer, working his way up the field to take the first corner in the lead, trailed by Alvaro Barba, Fabio Carbone, Marco Barba, Salvador Duran and Esteban Guerrieri (Ultimate Signature). The first lap went off without incident. Marco Martinez and Alvaro Barba built up a head of steam and gradually opened up a lead over Fabio Carbone and Marco Barba. The latter then span off, losing ground on the leaders. Duran therefore moved up into fourth, dangerously close to Fabio Carbone.
On lap 5, Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin Motorsport), who was lying in 11th place at the time, lost his rear spoiler after a collision with Julien Jousse (Tech 1 Racing). The Russian driver, who had finished in the points in every race so far, was forced to retire for the first time this season.
Out in front, Marcos Martinez had to be wary of the increasingly dangerous presence of Alvaro Barba on his tail. As Martinez and Barba battled it out for the lead, Carbone and Duran were involved in their own tussle for third place. Duran found a way past Carbone on lap 7, before rapidly closing the gap on the leading pair. The Mexican driver looked in total control as he set about putting the pressure on Alvaro Barba. After a splendid duel, he finally got the upper hand over Barba at the Abbey corner on lap 10. While the two men behind him were locked in combat, Marcos Martinez had extended his lead, but the electric Duran didn't lose hope and gave his all to close the gap on the leader.
Giedo Van der Garde, who had worked his way back up to fifth place, also stepped up a gear. The Championship leader, closely followed by Robert Wickens (Carlin Motorsport) and Guillaume Moreau (KTR), came back strongly at Carbone.
At the midway point, Martinez's lead over Duran was less than a second. Alvaro Barba was lying third four seconds farther back, while Fabio Carbone, Giedo Van der Garde, Robert Wickens and Guillaume Moreau were a little further adrift.
Salvador Duran was increasingly putting Martinez under pressure, but the Interwetten.com team had their hearts in their mouths, as Duran's front spoiler appeared to be coming loose. This didn't seem to bother the driver himself though, and on lap 18 there was simply no stopping him. He moved past Martinez and controlled the race from there on in to pocket his first race win of the season.
Salvador Duran: I've been full of confidence since Thursday. We've got a really good car and I like this track. I got off to a good start and I took advantage of the mistakes made by Marco Barba and then by Carbone to make my way up the field. The battles with Alvaro Barba and Martinez were interesting. It wasn't an easy win!
Marcos Martinez: I got a very good start. Everything was going well, but Salvador was just too quick. I couldn't hold him off. I'm happy to have got my first podium finish under my belt in my first season in Formula Renault 3.5 Series.
Alvaro Barba: This is a good result, but the race wasn't easy for me, as my radio came loose and it was around my feet for the first few laps!