Egor Orudzhev (Arden Motorsport) cruised to his fourth win of the 2016 Formula V8 3.5 season by prevailing in race 2 at Jerez in the penultimate round of the series in front of 36500 spectators. The Russian took the lead at the start passing Louis Delétraz (Fortec Motorsports). Delétraz started from the pole and ended up in second place overall. He was the best rookie of the day and also cruised to take the championship lead. Matthieu Vaxiviere (SMP Racing) took another podium finish in third while Arden Motorsport leads the team championship.
As the lights went off at the start, Orudzhev got a quick getaway and took the lead followed by Delétraz, Vaxiviere, Jack Aitken (RP Motorsport), Beitske Visser (Teo Martin Motorsport), Pietro Fittipaldi (Fortec Motorsports), Matevos Isaakyan (SMP Racing), Aurélien Panis (Arden Motorsport), Vitor Baptista (RP Motorsport) and Alfonso Celis Jr. At the end of the opening lap, Aitken tried to go for a potential podium finish on Vaxiviere at the last corner and but the Frenchman resisted in a good display of experience. In the meantime, Roy Nissany (Lotus) was pushed back to the pits and re-started after 40 seconds.
On lap 4, Panis parked his car on the grass while on lap 5 the drivers started to dive into the pits for their stops. Tom Dillmann (AVF) and Fittipaldi were the first to switch tires, followed one lap later by Orudzhev, Vaxiviere, Aitken, Celis Jr and Kanamaru. As a consequence, Delétraz took the lead in front of Visser and Isaakyan.
On lap 7, SMP Racing called Isaakyan back to the pits and Durango did the same with Cipriani. On lap 8 Visser went in too and rejoined seventh, while Delétraz and Binder, still having to serve their stop, continued to lead.
On lap 9, Baptista completed his stop too followed on lap 10 by Delétraz, who temporarily handed the point to Binder. He rejoined third, behind Orudzhev. On lap 13, Binder made his way back to the pits with Orudzhev, Delétraz and Vaxiviere going back to the top-3. The Austrian returned to the track in seventh place.
On lap 16, Celis Jr. and Kanamaru made contact in sector 1, but the Mexican held onto ninth place. In the closing laps, Delétraz trimmed his gap to Orudzhev, while Visser kept pressuring Aitken for fourth place.
On lap 27, Orudzhev took the checkered flag for his fourth win of the season after the ones already achieved at Spa-Francorchamps, Paul Ricard and Monza. Delétraz finished second and was finally able to grab the series lead with 200 points versus the 197 of eight-placed Dillmann. He returned to the top of the championship standings after the opening round at Motorland. Completing the podium was Vaxiviere, who also captured third place in points in the process.
Egor Orudzhev (Arden Motorsport)
“We worked hard on the starts as you can win a race on that, as it happened today. I had a mega start then I just had to keep my pace. We pitted a bit earlier than we planned as my teammate stopped and we weren’t sure if there would have been a safety-car, so we put on a fresh set of tyres and I was able to control from that point of the race. Louis put a big pressure on us but I just cruised to the win. Thanks to all Arden Motorsport for the great pit-stop as well as to SMP Racing for their great effort”.
Louis Delétraz (Fortec Motorsports)
“It has been an unusual week-end for us. We had the pace since Friday, qualy yesterday was good but in the race I had a contact and a 10 seconds penalty. I wasn’t happy about that, but it’s gone now. My main focus today was to get the pole position and fight for the win, which is the only thing that makes sense as a driver. I didn’t have a perfect start, Egor went through and I couldn’t do anything even if I was quicker on track. We tried to go longer with pit-stops but it didn’t work”.
Matthieu Vaxiviere (SMP Racing)
“I didn’t have the best start of my life, I think there was something with the clutch but we still have to investigate the matter. I felt no traction on the rear, and the pace was not amazing for us as well. I’m really happy about P3 as we couldn’t do much better today, the strategy was quite good, as we planned to pit early. Let’s see how things will go in Barcelona, but I still regret yesterday’s mistake”.
Kenny Kirwan, Arden Motorsport Team Manager
“It has been a great day for Arden with another victory. Big thanks to all the engineers, to Egor, who made a great start, and to the whole team as they did a fantastic job in the pit-stop, as usual. It was a very good race even if we had an issue with Aurélien, now we have to wait to have the car back so we can investigate what happened. We are heading to Barcelona as the championship leaders and hopefully we can try to begin the first team champion in the new Formula V8 era”.