Formula Renault 3.5: Rowland and Gasly keep Sainz in check
Oliver Rowland surged into second place in the Formula Renault 3.5 title fight with his maiden victory in race two at Motorland Aragon. The Racing Steps Foundation ace was quick all weekend, coming close to pole on Saturday and fighting back to finish third after a slow start. He then dominated from start to finish on Sunday.
Carlos Sainz had continued to set the pace for the rest on Saturday, claiming another comfortable win. He could only qualify fifth for race two however, eventually being forced to settle for fourth in the race after an intense late battle with Pierre Gasly and Will Stevens ahead of him. Rowland’s slow start in Monza gives Sainz a 13 point cushion at the top of the standings.
Gasly continued his impressive start in FR3.5, and is just four points behind former Eurocup rival Rowland. The Frenchman fell back to ninth in a bruising first encounter but flew to second place on Sunday, battling his way past Red Bull stablemate Sainz and then taking Stevens on the final lap.
Stevens struggled for pace on Saturday and finished the first race in 12th, but third place on Sunday leaves him fourth in the standings ahead of Nikolay Martsenko, who took his impressive start to the campaign a step further with second place in race one. Fellow Russian Sergey Sirotkin had a challenging weekend alongside Rowland at Fortec, with an eighth place and a non-finish leaving him 37 points off the lead.
|Formula Renault 3.5 Series Round 2/9 ? Aragon, Spain|
Report: Carlos Sainz goes unmatched in Aragon race one
|1st: Carlos Sainz||2nd: Nikolay Martsenko||3rd: Oliver Rowland|
Report: Rowland secures maiden pole with superb last-second flyer
|1st: Oliver Rowland||2nd: Pierre Gasly||3rd: Will Stevens|
|1||Carlos Sainz||62 pts|
|2||Oliver Rowland||49 pts|
|3||Pierre Gasly||45 pts|
|4||Will Stevens||40 pts|
|5||Nikolay Martsenko||36 pts|
|6||Roberto Merhi||36 pts|
|Next round: Monaco (25 May)|
Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0: De Vries makes winning start
Nyck de Vries got his Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 campaign off to a good start in the opening weekend of the season at Motorland Aragon. The McLaren young driver claimed a relatively comfortable win from pole in race one, and although a mistake left him down in fourth in race two, he has backed up his title favourite status by being the early points leader.
Bruno Bonifacio enjoyed a strong start to his second Eurocup season with a pair of third-place finishes, leaving the Brazilian only seven points adrift of de Vries in the standings.
Andrea Pizzitola bounced back from a non-finish on Saturday to claim a maiden Eurocup win from pole position in race two. Kevin Jorg made up for a spin in race one to finish second, and is tied for fourth with Egor Orudzhev, who took P2 on Saturday before suffering a puncture when hit by Alexander Albon.
|Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Round 1/7 ? Aragon, Spain|
Report: Nyck de Vries converts pole into first race win of season at Aragon
|1st: Nyck de Vries||2nd: Egor Orudzhev||3rd: Bruno Bonifacio|
Report: Maiden Eurocup victory for Andrea Pizzitola
|1st: Andrea Pizzitola||2nd: Kevin Jorg||3rd: Bruno Bonifacio|
|1||Nyck de Vries||37 pts|
|2||Bruno Bonifacio||30 pts|
|3||Andrea Pizzitola||25 pts|
|4||Kevin Jorg||18 pts|
|5||Egor Orudzhev||18 pts|
|6||Alexander Albon||14 pts|
|Next round: Spa-Francorchamps (31 May-1 June)|
German F3: Double win for Pommer on series return
Markus Pommer is making up for his absence from single-seaters last year with a dual campaign in Auto GP and German F3, and made a victorious start to his programme in the latter at Oschersleben. Pommer, who spent three years in the category before winning in F2 in 2012, claimed the honours in races one and three and finished fourth in race two to claim the early points lead.
Nabil Jeffri‘s off-season switch from EuroInternational to Motopark paid off with his first win in the series in race two. The Petronas-backed driver finished sixth in race one after being penalised for a jump start, and began race three from pole but was made to settle for second off the line by team-mate Pommer.
Indy Dontje enjoyed a promising graduation from ADAC Formel Masters to German F3 with Motopark with two seconds and a third at the team’s home circuit. As was the case for all of 2013, it was Van Amersfoort Racing’s lead driver who posed the greatest threat to the Motopark trio, with Sam MacLeod claiming a pair of podiums on his F3 debut.
|German F3 Cup Round 1/8 ? Oschersleben, Germany|
Report: Pommer controls race one at Oschersleben
|1st: Markus Pommer||2nd: Indy Dontje||3rd: Sam MacLeod|
Report: Jeffri takes race two win at Oscherlseben
|1st: Nabil Jeffri||2nd: Indy Dontje||3rd: Sam MacLeod|
Report: Pommer wins as Motopark dominate final race at Oschersleben
|1st: Markus Pommer||2nd: Nabil Jeffri||3rd: Indy Dontje|
|1||Markus Pommer||58 pts|
|2||Nabil Jeffri||42 pts|
|3||Indy Dontje||41 pts|
|4||Sam MacLeod||33 pts|
|5||Nicolai Sylvest||20 pts|
|6||Weiron Tan||15 pts|
|Next round: Lausitz (24-25 May)|
ADAC Formel Masters: Jensen takes it to pre-season favourite Gunther
Danish ace Mikkel Jensen upstaged ADAC Formel Masters title favourite Maximilian Gunther at the opening weekend of the season at Oschersleben to lead the championship standings. Jensen, who moved teams from Motopark to Neuhasuer over the winter, beat last year’s runner-up Gunther to win race one after starting on pole.
The tables were turned in race two, with Mucke protege Gunther starting from pole and narrowly holding off Jensen to claim victory. Race three determined the three-point gap between the pair, with Jensen making up a couple of places from the reverse grid to finish fifth while Gunther finished where he started in eighth.
Jensen’s Neuhauser team-mate Tim Zimmermann also impressed, collecting two podiums on his single-seater debut with third in race one and second in race three.?Fabian Schiller claimed victory in race three, while long-time rivals Marvin Dienst and?Ralph Boschung completed the podium in races two and three respectively.
|ADAC Formel Masters Round 1/8 ? Oschersleben, Germany|
Report: Jensen takes dominant race one victory at Oschersleben
|1st: Mikkel Jensen||2nd: Maximilian Gunther||3rd: Tim Zimmermann|
Report: Gunther outlasts Jensen for race two victory at Oschersleben
|1st: Maximilian Gunther||2nd: Mikkel Jensen||3rd: Marvin Dienst|
Report: Schiller takes victory in race three at Oschersleben
|1st: Fabian Schiller||2nd: Tim Zimmermann||3rd: Ralph Boschung|
|1||Mikkel Jensen||49 pts|
|2||Maximilian Gunther||46 pts|
|3||Tim Zimmermann||31 pts|
|4||Fabian Schiller||29 pts|
|5||Dennis Marschall||25 pts|
|6||Marvin Dienst||19 pts|
|Next round: Zandvoort (10-11 May)|
French F4: Mawson makes awesome single-seater debut
A large variety of international racers lined up for the opening round of the French F4 Championship at Le Mans, and it was Australian Joseph Mawson who emerged as the star. A week after compatriot Anton De Pasqaule claimed a double win in the Formula Renault 1.6 NEC opener on his European debut, successful karter Mawson claimed two victories on his first single-seater appearance. He won the first race from pole, came from tenth third in race two and then charged to victory from fifth in race three.
British-Swiss driver Felix Hirsiger began the season as title favourite after finishing sixth last year, but could only manage P6 in race one after a front row start. He finished second in race two, and started race three from pole but would slip back to finish in third.
Lasse Sorensen, younger brother of Marco, finished P2 to Mawson in races one and three, but dropped points with a mechanical issue in race two. Lotus F1 protege Dorian Boccolacci showed consistency with a third, fifth and fourth from the three races, while Bryan Elpitiya won race two from the reverse grid pole.
|French F4 Championship Round 1/7 ? Le Mans, France|
Report: Mawson victorious in first French F4 race
|1st: Joseph Mawson||2nd: Lasse Sorensen||3rd: Dorian Boccolaccci|
Report: Elpitiya takes reverse-grid victory in second Le Mans race
|1st: Bryan Elpitiya||2nd: Felix Hirsiger||3rd: Joseph Mawson|
Report: Mawson wins French F4 thriller at Le Mans
|1st: Joseph Mawson||2nd: Lasse Sorensen||3rd: Felix Hirsiger|
|1||Joseph Mawson||67 pts|
|2||Felix Hirsiger||43 pts|
|3||Dorian Boccolaccci||37 pts|
|4||Lasse Sorensen||36 pts|
|5||Bryan Elpitiya||30 pts|
|6||Paul Hokfelt||24 pts|
|Next round: Pau (10-11 May)|
BRDC F4: Russell bags first two car racing wins
George Russell made an unsurprisingly strong start to his BRDC F4 campaign with two victories at the season opener at Silverstone. The double European junior karting champion, who is also competing in Formula Renault Alps this year, finished fifth in race one after struggling for straight-line speed. He won a wet race two from fourth on the grid and then came from sixth to win race three.
A second, an eighth and a third from the three races put Diego Menchaca second in the standings as the Mexican begins his third season on the UK junior scene. Raoul Hyman – the highest-placed of the 2013 drivers to return – claimed his maiden victory in race one from pole position with?Sennan Fielding completing the podium behind Menchaca.
ADAC Formel Masters convert Nicolas Beer claimed second to Russell in race two ahead of Struan Moore, while Russell was joined on the race three rostrum by Indian team-mate?Arjun Maini and Menchaca.
|BRDC F4 Championship Round 1/8 ? Silverstone, United Kingdom|
Report: Hyman takes maiden BRDC F4 win in season opener
|1st: Raoul Hyman||2nd: Diego Menchaca||3rd: Sennan Fielding|
Report: George Russell takes first win in cars in reverse-grid Silverstone race
|1st: George Russell||2nd: Nicolas Beer||3rd: Struan Moore|
Report: George Russell doubles up at Silverstone
|1st: George Russell||2nd: Arjun Maini||3rd: Diego Menchaca|
|1||George Russell||79 pts|
|2||Diego Menchaca||66 pts|
|3||Raoul Hyman||64 pts|
|4||Arjun Maini||52 pts|
|5||Will Palmer||47 pts|
|6||Gustavo Lima||45 pts|
|Next round: Brands Hatch (17-18 May)|
F3 Cup: Two more wins for Lanan youngster Sowery
17-year-old Toby Sowery made it four wins from four starts in this year’s F3 Cup, giving Lanan a total of four victories at the MSV Racing meeting at Silverstone. Driving for the same squad as Russell, he took pole by 1.6 seconds on a drying track and won race one by nearly 25 seconds over former Formula Renault BARC racer Henry Chart. Sowery was beaten off the line in race two by series veteran Tristan Cliffe?but grabbed the lead back later on the opening lap and winning by 16 seconds to open up a 31 point lead over Cliffe in the standings.
FA1: Bortolotti makes triumphant comeback
Ex-Formula 2 champion Mirko Bortolotti made a successful return to single-seater racing by winning the first two races of the new Formula Acceleration 1 series at Portimao. Driving for Italy in the A1 Grand Prix-inspired series, the 2013 Megane champion enjoyed a perfect weekend with two poles, two wins and two fastest laps.
Former GP2 and FR3.5 racer Nigel Melker finished second to Bortolotti in both races for the Netherlands, while German F3 Trophy champion Sebastian Balthasar completed the podium for Germany ahead of fellow Performane Racing-run driver Felix Rosenqvist (Sweden) in both races.
Star Driver: Oliver Rowland
Rowland had big shoes to fill by follow Robin Frijns and Stoffel Vandoorne out of Eurocup FR2.0 and into Fortec’s FR3.5 team, but he proved with his dominant win on Sunday that he’s capable of matching their achievements on his day. He’s now the closest man to Sainz in the points, and if he can put in those sort of performances on a consistent basis, he’ll be a real title threat.