Oliver Rowland won race two of the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday afternoon.
From pole position, Rowland made a fine getaway to head Nyck de Vries. Fourth-placed starter Matthieu Vaxiviere made a good start and was in the mix for third, but Dean Stoneman bullied his way past into Eau Rouge and the slow starting Tio Ellinas followed him past.
Further back, Tom Dillmann touched Nicholas Latifi at the Kemmel kink, causing both to pit at the end of the opening lap.
Rowland led de Vries by 1.1s on lap one, with Jazeman Jaafar up to 10th already after he had been relegated to the back of the grid due to the non-conformity of his floor and bodywork.
By lap two Jaafar was up to seventh, and then passed Pietro Fantin for sixth on lap three. He opted for an early pitstop on lap eight, gambling that the threatening rain wouldn’t materialise.
Stoneman was next to stop on the following tour, and with Beitske Visser’s car coming to a halt at Les Combes, the leaders dived pitward on lap 11. Surprisingly, the Safety Car wasn’t called despite the proximity of marshals and a recovery vehicle to the live racetrack.
Rowland retained a 3.4s lead ahead of de Vries and Stoneman, while Ellinas had Vaxiviere right behind him – who was running a much higher downforce rear wing than his rivals.
As spots of rain intensified a little, Vaxiviere took fourth from Ellinas on lap 12 with a neat move into Les Combes, and then he reeled in Stoneman and passed him for third at the final chicane after a close few moments through Blanchimont.
Vaxiviere found de Vries a harder nut to crack, who repelled his attacks to the finish line.
Behind them, Stoneman just held off Ellinas’s late challenge – with Jaafar right behind them on the run to the last corner. Jaafar clattered into Ellinas, forcing them both off, but both managed to cross the line in fifth and sixth respectively.
Out front, Rowland had extended his lead to over 5s, and despite the drizzle he never looked troubled and cruised to the finish to win by 2.3s.
|1||Oliver Rowland||Fortec Motorsports||43m42.477|
|2||Nyck de Vries||DAMS||43m44.876||2.399|
|5||Tio Ellinas||Strakka Racing||43m56.869||14.392|
|6||Jazeman Jaafar||Fortec Motorsports||43m57.403||14.926|
|7||Aurelien Panis||Tech 1 Racing||43m57.561||15.084|
|8||Pietro Fantin||International Draco Racing||43m58.094||15.617|
|9||Egor Orudzhev||Arden Motorsport||43m59.930||17.453|
|10||Meindert van Buuren||Lotus||44m06.234||23.757|
|12||Sean Gelael||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||44m21.483||39.006|
|13||Nicholas Latifi||Arden Motorsport||44m36.901||54.424|
|14||Gustav Malja||Strakka Racing||44m44.080||1m01.603|
|15||Philo Paz Armand||Pons Racing||44m56.455||1m13.978|
|16||Tom Dillmann||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||45m14.672||1m32.195|