Fairuz Fauzy claimed his first win in the World Series by Renault after leading the opening race at the Hungaroring from start to finish and building on a breakthrough season in the A1GP Series.
Benefitting from the reverse grid procedure, the Mofaz Fortec Motorsport co-owner led into the first bend and successfully contained Draco team-mates Marco Barba and Bertrand Baguette all the way to the chequered flag.
The Malaysian's initial threat came from series rookie Brendon Hartley, who got the jump on Barba off the line. However, the Kiwi's inexperience in the Tech 1 machine told as he braked too late for turn one and spun off. While Hartley was able to rejoin - and eventually recovered to 17th by the end, there was no such luck for Michael Herck - subbing in the #15 Interwetten car in advance of GP2's visit to Hungary - as he hit the pit wall at the start after making contact with Federico Leo.
Barba took up the mantle of chief pursuer, but could do little about Fauzy, who held his nerve - and the lead. A little further back, Baguette, James Walker and Jaime Alguersuari chased Barba hard, with the Belgian and Briton making it a lead quartet, while Alguersuari found that he had to contend with fastest qualifier Marcos Martinez and Miguel Molina.
Back in the main field, Daniil Move, in eleventh place, was doing his best to fend off challenges from Charles Pic and Edoardo Mortara - the latter in the KMP Group/SG Formula entry. The two chasers got increasingly impatient with every passing lap, with Pic making the first attack and Mortara taking advantage of it to get past the Frenchman before moving on Move.
At the front, the positions stabilised with seven cars spread over just six seconds, before the arrival of the safety car - after Filip Salaquarda's Prema car went off -produced a regroup.
Fauzy remained unfazed, however, and held onto his lead ahead of Barba, Baguette, Walker and Alguersuari. Martinez's bid for fifth was blunted by the need to contain Molina, with Britons Oliver Turvey and Jon Lancaster - on debut with Comtec - keeping the Spanish pair honest.
The order, as is so often the case at the Hungaroring, was to stay put to the finish, with Fauzy delighted to take his first win ahead of Barba and Baguette.
“We were hoping for points this weekend, but we weren't expecting to win," the Malaysian admitted, "The start was dicey, when Brendon Hartley braked very late and, afterwards, my brakes tended to get very hot but, with the others chasing me, I had to keep very focused. The safety car helped me a bit too and, after that, I managed the situation to the end of the race. I'm really happy with this first win.”
Barba, too, was pleased with his result after a difficult start to the season.
“At last, I'm scoring some important points and that is pleasing, because I arrived full of hope for this season and things haven't gone to plan up to now," the Spaniard admitted, "Bertrand is on the podium too, that's very positive for the team.”
Baguette and Walker, meanwhile, made up vital points on Martinez, who finished sixth.
“It's not a bad result," the Belgian acknowledged, "I was never in a position to attack Marco as I got dirt on my front tyres and never really got them cleaned up, so I was lacking a little grip. But it's good to put some podium finishes together. We have some things to improve for tomorrow's race and we'll try to be in the first three again.”