01/06/2015

Rowland regains Formula 3.5 lead with SPA victory

British driver and team Oliver Rowland and Fortec Motorsports have regained the lead of the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship after achieving their second race win from five races so far in 2015 at the Belgian Formula 1 circuit of Spa-Francorchamps.
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Rowland took victory in Sunday’s race at Spa ahead of Holland’s Nyck de Vries (DAMS) and France’s Matthieu Vixaviere (Lotus).

It was Vixaviere who had won Saturday’s race when the drivers have to contend with cars in low downforce configuration. He finished ahead of Rowland’s Malaysian team-mate Jazeman Jafaar and Briton Dean Stoneman (DAMS) while Rowland followed in fifth.

That had enabled Jaafar – who had also won a week earlier at the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix event – to maintain an overnight lead in the standings.

But Rowland’s win on Sunday changed all that and, having won the season’s opening round in Spain, he is now back at the top of the table heading to the next rounds at Hungary’s Hungaroring Formula 1 circuit in mid-June.

Rowland said “I got a good start – far from ideal, but enough to hold on to the lead. With a different aerodynamic configuration from the others, I knew the rest of the race would be simpler and I stayed in front. I was able to build a gap, but the menacing rain began to fall in the final laps. Yesterday’s result was disappointing and I am pleased to have bounced back like I did.”

Formula Renault 3.5 is part of the pan-European World Series by Renault tour of events that comes to Britain later this year – Sat 5/Sun 6 September at the British F1 GP venue of Silverstone.

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Points: Formula Renault 3.5 Championship
1 Oliver Rowland (GBR) 83 points
2 Matthieu Vaxiviere (FRA) 77
3 Jazeman Jaafar (MAS) 75
4 Dean Stoneman (GBR) 60
5 Nyck de Vries (NED) 44
6 Tom Dillman (FRA) 35