Spa F3.5: Vaxiviere takes SMP's first win amid wet-weather mayhem

Matthieu Vaxiviere was victorious in Formula V8 3.5's stop-start Sunday race at Spa-Francorchamps amid mayhem brought on by the extremely wet conditions.

Spa F3.5: Vaxiviere takes SMP's first win amid wet-weather mayhem

The first 10 minutes of the race took place behind the safety car - and for good reason as, once the race begun, the number of cars in contention started to drop immediately.

With poleman Dillmann leading the field in torrential rain, a number of cars took to the pits as soon as possible, led by Force India test driver Alfonso Celis.

Immediately, Egor Orudzhev was ruled out of the race, due to what appeared to be pitlane contact and, as Dillmann and several fellow frontrunners pitted on the next lap, two shunts brought the safety car back out on track.

First, Matevos Isaakyan spun around at Les Combes and, shortly thereafter, Johnny Cecotto mounted the rear wing of Roy Nissany at Eau Rouge, the duo heading into the barriers at a high speed - albeit both appear to have emerged from their cars unhurt.

Another lengthy intermission followed, the pack now led by Aurelien Panis and Rene Binder - albeit both were yet to stop.

They would do so when the race restarted with mere minutes left on the clock, seemingly handing victory to Dillmann, only for him to spin on entry to Les Combes and give up first place to Vaxiviere.

From that point on, Vaxiviere reigned supreme, finishing six seconds up on Dillmann, with Celis taking his first podium in Formula V8 3.5 in third.

Despite going straight on at La Source at the very start of the race, Vitor Baptista recovered to claim fourth, with Panis and Binder taking fifth and sixth after their late stops.

It was seventh for Yu Kanamaru, whose teammate Beitske Visser looked set for a top-five finish before stopping on track with three laps to go.

As a result, Italian gentleman driver Giuseppe Cipriani was the last driver to take the chequered flag, placing eighth.

Race results

Pos. Driver Team Time/Gap
1 Matthieu Vaxiviere SMP Racing 43:24.368
2 Tom Dillmann AVF 6.268
3 Alfonso Celis AVF 10.277
4 Vitor Baptista RP Motorsport 17.636
5 Aurelien Panis Arden Motorsport 20.715
6 Rene Binder Lotus 36.885
7 Yu Kanamaru Teo Martin Motorsport 42.023
8 Giuseppe Cipriani Durango Racing Team 58.157
9 Beitske Visser Teo Martin Motorsport 3 Laps
10 Pietro Fittipaldi Fortec Motorsports 6 Laps
Ret Roy Nissany Lotus  
Ret Johnny Cecotto RP Motorsport  
Ret Matevos Isaakyan SMP Racing  
Ret Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport  
Ret Louis Deletraz Fortec Motorsports  


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