A first for Garcia! Having been up with the leaders all year, Spanish driver Borja Garcia (RC Motorsport) claimed his first win of the season in Spa. He finished ahead of Pastor Maldonado (Draco Multiracing USA), who lost the race at the start,...
A first for Garcia!
Having been up with the leaders all year, Spanish driver Borja Garcia (RC Motorsport) claimed his first win of the season in Spa. He finished ahead of Pastor Maldonado (Draco Multiracing USA), who lost the race at the start, and Andy Soucek (Interwetten.com). These three now occupy the podium places in the World Series Formula Renault 3.5 championship standings in the same order as they finished today's race.
Following an accident during the GT3 race, repairs carried out on the safety barriers resulted in a half-hour delay and in the race being cut to 40 minutes. Only 29 cars took to the start grid following the withdrawal of Sebastian Vettel (Carlin Motorsport). At Comtec Racing, the bodyshell on Alx Danielsson's car had been changed overnight.
Pastor Maldonado mistimed his start and was left with no choice but to allow Borja Garcia and Alx Danielsson to pass him before the Raidillon. Drama struck on lap one as Davide Valsecchi (Epsilon Euskadi) clattered into the back of Jaap Van Lagen (Comtec Racing), who in turn ran into Sean McIntosh (KTR).
Behind Garcia, Danielsson and Maldonado, the chasing pack at the end of lap one consisted of Andy Soucek, Alvaro Parente (Victory Engineering), Eric Salignon (Interwetten.com), James Rossiter (Pons Racing), Milos Pavlovic (Eurointernational), Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin Motorsport) and Marco Bonanomi (Tech 1 Racing).
On lap two, Pavlovic found a way past Rossiter. The three leaders opened up a little gap over the rest of the drivers, who were driving fairly cautiously in these early stages. Christian Montanari (Prema Powerteam), who was lapping outside the points, came into the pits after four laps to change a punctured rear tyre.
The Interwetten.com drivers were both under pressure after five laps: Andy Soucek was holding off Alvaro Parente, while Eric Salignon was trying to deal with the attacks of Milos Pavlovic, himself in the sights of James Rossiter.
On lap 8, Alx Danielsson lost control and went off in violent crash at Blanchimont, after suffering a puncture at the rear. The safety car was brought out while the marshals helped to remove the Swedish driver from his car. He looked shaken, but was still conscious. He was immediately taken to hospital to undergo tests.
The race resumed after 13 laps for another 6 minutes, i.e. three laps. Garcia managed the restart perfectly, keeping Maldonado at bay. Back in third, Soucek was still under intense pressure from Parente, but he held on! After going into a spin at Source just before the restart, Milos Pavlovic fell back into last place. The Yugoslavian took some consolation by successfully going after the fastest race lap. Eric Salignon then found himself under pressure from James Rossiter, but he managed to hold off the Pons driver's attentions to the finish. A bit further back, Marco Bonanomi was forced to relinquish 8th place, taken from him by Ben Hanley (Cram Competition). Robbie Kerr (KTR) finally got back into the points by claiming 10th spot.
Borja Garcia: "This first win takes me back to the top of the championship standings. I made a good start and then pushed very hard. I thank the team for their efforts because we have had a good car since the second qualifying session."
Pastor Maldonado: "I mistimed my start and lost two places. But I never stopped pushing. The car was good, but you can't win every race. These points are important for the championship."
Andy Soucek: "My hand hurts a lot; I didn't think I would be able to make it to the end. I still managed to prevent Alvaro from picking up another podium finish."