Tom Dillmann has been crowned the 2016 Formula V8 3.5 Champion after producing a stunning performance to win the final race of the season from sixth on the grid, in doing so overhauling Louis Deletraz.

Though Dillmann has topped the standings for much of the season, a lacklustre run of late season form had nonetheless seen Deletraz leapfrog him coming into the final round, the Swiss driver taking a six point advantage in the last race of the year.

With Deletraz qualifying on pole for the Barcelona race and Dillmann on the third row, it seemed the Fortec man was comfortably on course but a poor start dropped him to fourth straight away, with Dillmann immediately on his tail.

The pair would then swap position as the pit-stop window opened, the AVF man coming in first and getting the undercut thanks in part to a sticky wheel for Deletraz.

Crucially, however, Dillmann would put the hammer down to pull away from Deletraz, a series of fast laps that would also put early leaders Matevos Issakyan and Roy Nissany under pressure prior to their own stop. When Isaakyan suffered a wheel gun issue and Nissany lost time behind a lapped runner, Dillmann would shake out as the new leader.

With Deletraz stuck in fourth behind Dillmann, Nissany and Pietro Fittipaldi, the Frenchman knew a win would be enough for him to overhaul his rival against the odds if the order stayed the same.

And so it proved, Dillmann's only second win of the season proving the most crucial result to bring title joy to AVF, the extra 13 points demoting a disappointed Deletraz into second overall.

Rallying hard in the closing stages in his efforts to pressure Dillmann, Nissany completed his year with a hard fought run to second place, with Fittipaldi scoring his first podium of the season, curiously ahead of his team-mate Deletraz.

The unfortunate Isaakyan had to settle for fifth having shown race winning form early on, ahead of Rene Binder and race one winner Egor Orudzhev, fighting back to seventh from the pit lane after stalling at the start.

 

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