CLICK HERE for the full FR3.5 race two result from the Red Bull Ring

Matthieu Vaxiviere managed to limit the damage Oliver Rowland's race one win did to his Formula Renault 3.5 championship chances by matching the Briton's achievement second time around.

The late afternoon encounter brought to an end the series' only stand-alone event, as it supported the ELMS in Styria, and was all about the two title contenders as Vaxiviere kept Rowland at bay through to the flag. The championship leader had benefitted from Roberto Merhi's absence on the front row - the Spaniard excluded before the race even started thanks to his part in the dramatic end to race one - and was able to fend off Nyck de Vries to emerge as Vaxiviere's main challenger on the run to turn one.

While the field sorted itself out through the tricky uphill right-hander - with many taking to the run-off to avoid an early bath - Rowland latched onto the rear wing of Vaxiviere's Lotus, taking a look at the Frenchman's position through the next couple of turns. Having held firm, however, Vaxiviere was able to open out, and subsequently manage, a gap back to his rival and, without the safety car making an appearance, Rowland was forced to settle for second.

Such was the pace of the top two, the rest of the field was at least 16secs adrift at the flag, with Roy Nissany completing the podium after also besting de Vries in the opening skirmishes. The Israeli, who retired from race one, was never under threat of losing his podium place, claiming his first top three finish in FR3.5 competition.

de Vries, meanwhile, slipped back from the Tech 1 car and eventually fell into the clutches of a charging Pietro Fantin, the Brazilian determined to make up for a disappointing day of qualifying on Saturday. His rise from tenth on the grid eventually culminated in fourth spot as he edged away from de Vries over the closing stages.

de Vries, in turn, was comfortably ahead of sixth spot, which was occupied by Vaxiviere's temporary Lotus team-mate Marlon Stockinger, while Gustav Malja, Tom Dillmann, Jazeman Jaafar and Beitske Visser - up from 20th - completing the top ten in a largely uneventful race.

The only incident of note as the light faded was a lap one clash between race one runner-up Dean Stoneman and the hapless Nicolas Latifi, who had ended the opening event with his world going upside down following his clash with Merhi. This time, the Canadian clipped the left front wheel of Stoneman's Red Bull-backed machine and ended up in the gravel, while the Briton limped back to the pits with his suspension askew.

 

Comments

Loading Comments...