Gustav Malja admitted his delight at scoring a second career podium in race two the seventh round of the Formula Renault 3.5 championship at the Nurburgring, noting particularly the challenge of his last lap fight with team mate Tio Ellinas.

It looked as though Malja would lead but his Cypriot team mate held off his challenge on his final lap to lead an historic 1-2 for the Strakka Racing duo. As a result, the drivers have climbed from fourth and sixth on the grid to the podium in a competitive and eventful race which was affected by a dampened track. Ellinas assumed the lead from long-timer pace setter Pietro Fantin in the final stages and faced a tough scrap for first from his rookie team mate. Post-race Malja admitted that the closing stages brought with them an added pressure as spitting rain cooled the tyres and Ellinas fought for the win.

"The final lap was the most intense of my career," he said. "I made it past Tio in the Mercedes Arena, but then I had some wheel spin on the exit and he got back in front.

"It's an amazing result for myself and for the team; they made a fantastic pit stop and I think we all deserve this following all the hard work we've put in," he continued.

It was a mature performance from the teenage rookie who admitted he felt comfortable in the temperamental conditions of the historic circuit. It is a race that boosted Malja to eighth in the championship standings.

"I felt particularly quick in the rain, which is encouraging since it's the first time I've ever driven the car on slicks in those conditions, and this was a great boost for all of us heading into final few rounds of the season," concluded the unexpected podium finisher.

Strakka leaves the historic German circuit comfortably fourth in the championship, breaking away from Arden Motorsport in the standings.



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