Louis Deletraz will take a six point lead into the final race of the 2016 Formula V8 3.5 Championship after getting the better of main rival Tom DIllmann in a race won by form man Egor Orudzhev at the Circuit de Catalunya

Having ceded his long-held championship lead to Deletraz last time out at Jerez, Dillmann came into the Barcelona showdown looking to fight back but despite qualifying on pole position he'd lose his advantage to Orudzhev from the start, the Russian getting a stunning getaway from fifth to move out front.

With Deletraz, who started fourth, quickly up to third at the expense of Matthieu Vaxiviere - who faded with car problems before retiring -, the Swiss driver immediately put the pressure on his title rival in a battle that would consume much of the race.

After his first efforts at unsettling Dillmann amounting to nothing, Deletraz opted to hang back in third protect his tyres before launching another push for the pass in the closing stages.

This time Deletraz judged it perfectly, spending a lap right on Dillmann's tale before pulling alongside down the home straight. It was pressure enough to spook the AVF man into out-braking himself into T1 to send him across the run-off, allowing Deletraz to swoop into second as Dillmann re-joined.

Up the road, Orudzhev was completing his fifth win of the season, but with second for Deletraz and third for Dillmann, it is the younger driver who heads into the last encounter of the year with the slim advantage, the pre-race seven-way fight for the championship now down to just a two-horse race.

Having won three of the last four races, Orudzhev leaps from sixth to third overall, no doubt cursing any one of the five DNFs that have arguably stopped him from ever getting in the title fight, with his Arden team-mate Aurelien Panis passing Vaxiviere after managing a fourth in the race.

Matevos Isaakyan followed home in fifth from Vitor Baptista, with Pietro Fittipaldi, Yu Kanamaru, Roy Nissany and Beitske Visser completing the top ten and the points.

Elsewhere, Jack Aitken qualified third but stalled, forcing him to fight back from the pit lane, while Force India F1 development driver crashed out on the opening lap.

 

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