Photo: Renault Sport/DPPI
Matthieu Vaxiviere converted his maiden Eurocup pole into a win with a controlling lights-to-flag drive in the season opener at Aragon.
The 2011 French F4 Champion held off early pressure from Esteban Ocon, Pierre Gasly and William Vermont to protect his lead, staying calm before eventually pulling away from his fellow countrymen with a comfortable three-second gap to take the flag.
The front three on the grid got away well and were quickly joined by Vermont who had managed to get himself ahead of Egor Orudzhev, the Russian slipping down to sixth as Jake Dennis also passed him.
Italian Luca Ghiotto couldn?t build on his seventh place qualifying as he dropped out of the top ten quickly after a poor start, while also not having much luck was Nyck de Vries who would have been disappointed with his initial grid spot, which only got worse as he slipped down further before fighting back to re-overtake Fortec?s Ed Jones for tenth place.
De Vries then found himself caught up in the fight for eight between Oliver Rowland and Oscar Tunjo. The McLaren young driver managed to pass Rowland in the Manor car but Lotus Junior representative Tunjo held him off.
Dennis, Steijn Schothorst and Orudzhev all had particularly quiet races finishing fifth, sixth and seventh but rookie Orudzhev will be particularly pleased with his points collection despite having started in fourth.
There was no movement in the battle for the podium as Ocon came in second very closely followed by Gasly then Vermont in fourth completing the French domination.
Just outside the top ten was Manor?s Melville McKee in eleventh while Bruno Bonifacio drove a good race, climbing from twentieth on the grid to finish in twelfth. The Brazilian will be regretting the technical issues which let him down in qualifying.
But it was Vaxivere?s race, a perfect example of a lights-to-flag job. He struggled last year in the Eurocup with just one top-ten finish but his second year with the Tech 1 outfit he has started as well as he possibly could have. He will look to continue his flying start to the season in tomorrow?s race.
|1||Matthieu Vaxiviere||Tech 1 Racing||14 laps in 27:22.459|
|2||Esteban Ocon||ART Junior Team||+3.218|
|3||Pierre Gasly||Tech 1 Racing||+3.623|
|4||William Vermont||ARTA Engineering||+4.748|
|5||Jake Dennis||Fortec Motorsport||+7.263|
|6||Steijn Schothorst||Josef Kaufmann Racing||+11.427|
|7||Egor Orudzhev||Tech 1 Racing||+12.356|
|8||Oscar Tunjo||Josef Kaufmann Racing||+14.770|
|9||Nyck de Vries||Koiranen GP||+15.322|
|10||Oliver Rowland||Manor MP Motorsport||+15.608|
|11||Melville McKee||Manor MP Motorsport||+20.508|
|12||Bruno Bonifacio||Prema Powerteam||+20.876|
|13||Stefan Wackerbauer||Interwetten.com Racing||+21.241|
|14||Luca Ghiotto||Prema Powerteam||+21.726|
|15||Andrea Pizzitola||ART Junior Team||+21.936|
|16||Mikko Pakari||Fortec Motorsports||+22.736|
|17||Alexandre Baron||ART Junior Team||+23.323|
|18||Leo Roussel||ARTA Engineering||+27.192|
|19||Victor Franzoni||Koiranen GP||+28.295|
|20||Guilherme Silva||Koiranen GP||+28.620|
|23||Aurelien Panis||RC Formula||+31.695|
|24||Viktor Sendin||AV Formula||+36.735|
|25||Kevin Jorg||Jenzer Motorsport||+40.598|
|26||Javier Merlo||Manor MP Motorsport||+41.861|
|27||Konstantin Tereschenko||Interwetten.com Racing||+44.964|
|28||Simon Tirman||ARTA Engineering||+46.946|
|29||Benjamin Bailly||RC Formula||+50.176|
|30||Marcos Siebert||Jenzer Motorsport||+54.090|
|31||Nick Cassidy||AV Formula||+1:02.663|
|32||Alejandro Abogado||Interwetten.com Racing||+1:17.642|
|33||Gustav Malja||Josef Kaufmann Racing||+1:51.639|
|34||Naomi Schiff||RC Formula||+1 laps|
|35||Yu Kanamaru||KTR||+2 laps|
|Ed Jones||Fortec Motorsport||+3 laps|
|Levin Amweg||Jenzer Motorsport||+4 laps|