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DATE News (chronologically)
05/01/11
wsr
Vergne outduels teammate Wickens at Spa
After a race that kept up the suspense right to the checkered flag, the Carlin drivers did the double again at Spa-Francorchamps, but in reverse order compared to the previous day. Jean-Éric Vergne (Carlin) took his first win of the season ahead of Robert Wickens (Carlin) and Chris Van der Drift (Mofaz Racing). The two Carlin drivers come away from Spa lying first and second in the Championship standings, with Robert Wickens fourteen points ahead of Jean-Éric Vergne.

The Carlin drivers adopting a winning strategy as of the qualifying session, with Wickens and Vergne driving head to tail to get maximum benefit from the slipstream effect. Vergne got his first pole position of the season ahead of Daniel Zampieri (BVM-Target), who managed to slot in between the Carlin cars.

Vergne made the perfect start when the lights went out. Robert Wickens, third on the grid, was quick to put pressure on Daniel Zampieri. The Canadian driver soon found the opening and moved up to second. At the end of lap 1, Vergne led from Robert Wickens, Daniel Zampieri, Chris Van der Drift and Daniel Ricciardo (ISR). The Australian soon lost 5th place though, dispossessed by Walter Grubmuller (P1 Motorsport), before being harassed in turn by Albert Costa (Epic Racing). Costa, having charged from 11th on the grid up to 7th, was soon looking to outflank the reserve driver with Red Bull Formula One Racing Team. The Spaniard found the opening in the 3rd lap and went 6th.

Under pressure from his teammate, Jean-Éric Vergne increased the pace before the compulsory pit stops. Albert Costa was first to pit, followed a lap later by Robert Wickens. Jean-Eric Vergne, Daniel Zampieri and Chris Van der Drift chose to extend their first run a little longer.

Wickens made the pit stop decisive! Getting away quicker than his teammate, he took control of the race, pushing hard for several laps to pull away from Vergne. Third placed Chris Van der Drift had to deal with the return of Albert Costa, who had also made the pit stop count and was up in fourth.

Jean-Éric Vergne wasn’t for laying down arms and towards the end of the race he caught up the lost ground on leader  Robert Wickens. The French driver made a first assault on the leading car with ten minutes to go, in La Source. He positioned himself perfectly in the slipstream of his teammate in the Raidillon and made the decisive attack in Les Combes. Both drivers braked late, but  Vergne made the winning overtake maneuver to take control of the race on lap 17. He crossed the finish line first, ahead of Robert Wickens and Chris Van der Drift. Daniel Zampieri ousted Albert Costa from 4th place in the final laps.

Behind the top three, Zampieri claimed fourth on the last lap, overtaking Albert Costa on the final lap of the race. Walter Grubmüller ended the race in sixth, with Alexander Rossi, Brendon Hartley and Daniel Ricciardo close behind. Nelson Panciatici completed the top ten, some five seconds clear of Andre Negrao.

Starting from 15th position, American Alexander Rossi produced a solid performance to finish 7th in race two of the World Series by Renault round at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium today.

After a difficult qualifying session this morning, where Rossi struggled with car set-up and admitted to not maximizing his track time, Rossi lined up his Fortec Motorsport car in P15 on the grid for the afternoon’s race.

Once again Rossi made a great race start, keeping out of trouble when a first corner clash spun his team mate, Ramos, 360 degrees. Rossi moved up into P11 as the pack forged on to Eau Rouge and then he skillfully took Rosenzweig for 10th place on lap two where he ran until the pit stop window opened. His Fortec Motorsport team opted for an early stop strategy as they did in Aragon, and Rossi entered the pits as soon as the window opened on lap five. Re-joining the field in clean air, Rossi was soon able to capitalize on position gain and was running with good race pace in P7.

He then had to close the gap to Zampieri ahead, but with the leaders now running at similar speeds and due to his early pit stop, Rossi was struggling as his tires dropped away in the closing stages, making it impossible for him to achieve a realistic challenge for P6.

Rossi took the checkered flag at the end of the 22-lap race in P7, as he did in race one, and picked up a further six Championship points to bring his tally to 55, with the Fortec Motorsport team now on 67 points. Rossi now sits in P3, only two points behind today’s race winner Jean-Eric Vergne, with his Fortec team in P2 in the World Series by Renault FR3.5 Championships.

Alexander Rossi commented; “We made a lot of changes overnight - some good, some not so good - but I did not maximize some of my laps in qualifying and probably could have found a few more tenths which cost us a few positions, but I will learn from that. My race start was good and after the pit stop we showed some genuine pace, which is really positive. As we stopped early though, my tires were quite gone by the last few laps, so I could not improve on my times in the last stint. However, it was a good weekend for us and we will take away these experiences and move on. We cannot get too disappointed about our results this weekend, but we have to move forward significantly as the Championship is quite tight.”

Results

Pos

Num Driver Team Laps Behind
1 5 Jean Eric VERGNE CARLIN 22 0.000s
2 6 Robert WICKENS CARLIN 22 +1.468
3 19 Chris VAN DER DRIFT MOFAZ RACING 22 +2.173
4 25 Daniel ZAMPIERI BVM TARGET 22 +7.153
5 12 Albert COSTA EPIC RACING 22 +8.434
6 23 Walter GRUBMULLER P1 MOTORSPORT 22 +8.784
7 7 Alexander ROSSI FORTEC MOTORSPORTS 22 +9.183
8 28 Brendon HARTLEY GRAVITY - CHAROUZ 22 +9.419
9 3 Daniel RICCIARDO ISR 22 +11.808
10 22 Nelson PANCIATICI KMP RACING 22 +12.602
11 16 Andre NEGRAO INTERNATIONAL DRACO RACING 22 +17.960
12 2 Arthur PIC TECH 1 RACING 22 +26.870
13 24 Daniil MOVE P1 MOTORSPORT 22 +30.199
14 11 Sten PENTUS EPIC RACING 22 +31.071
15 18 Jean-Karl VERNAY PONS RACING 22 +38.251
16 4 Nathanael BERTHON ISR 22 +42.377
17 9 Daniel MCKENZIE COMTEC RACING 22 +42.730
18 17 Oliver WEBB PONS RACING 22 +46.859
19 21 Anton NEBYLITSKIY KMP RACING 22 +48.245
20 27 Jan CHAROUZ GRAVITY - CHAROUZ 22 +56.088
NC 15 Stephane RICHELMI INTERNATIONAL DRACO RACING 17 5 Laps
NC 26 Sergio CANAMASAS BVM TARGET 14 8 Laps
NC 8 Cesar RAMOS FORTEC MOTORSPORTS 14 8 Laps
NC 20 Jake ROSENZWEIG MOFAZ RACING 10 12 Laps
NC 10 Daniel DE JONG COMTEC RACING 9 13 Laps
NC 1 Kevin KORJUS TECH 1 RACING 0 22 Laps

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