The World Series Formula V8 3.5 delivered another great day of racing today at Jerez De La Frontera as Pietro Fittipaldi (Lotus) cruised to a brilliant race 2 win from the pole in front of 25.000 fans. The Brazilian also set the fastest lap of the race making it the first hat-trick of the season so far. Despite facing tough fortunes in race 1, Russian Egor Orudzhev (SMP Racing by AVF) brought home valuable points and a podium finish in second place followed by team-mate and fellow countryman Matevos Isaakyan. With 5th place, Rene Binder (Lotus) was able to hold onto the lead of the driver championship albeit with a mere 1-point margin on his team-mate. Damiano Fioravanti (RP Motorsport) secured an outstanding rookie win in sixth overall.
The start featured some exciting action as Orudzhev nipped Fittipaldi off the line only for the Brazilian to fight back in turn 3 during the opening lap with spectacular side-by-side action going on. The Russian, remained in close pursuit as the leading duo traded fastest laps early.
All the field opted for early pit-stops. Binder and Alfonso Celis Jr. (Fortec Motorsports) were the first takers on lap 6 followed by Fittipaldi and Orudzhev not too much later. All the drivers on-track got rid of their mandatory tire change before lap 10 and no changes were to report in terms of the running order except for yesterday’s winner Roy Nissany (RP Motorsport) being forced to retire.
The middle part of the 27-lap distance saw Celis inching closer to Isaakyan for P3 while rookie Fioravanti soon started to become a concern for Binder despite a difficult start. Fittipaldi slowly but steadily began pulling away while an interesting battle developed for the rookie podium with Konstantin Tereschenko (Teo Martin Motorsport) fighting back from the last row of the grid to cross the line in seventh.
The top-5 stayed the same throughout the final stages. Fittipaldi rounded out his weekend with a well-deserved victory in front of Orudzhev while Isaakyan held off Celis Jr. to complete the podium. The Mexican was followed by Binder, Fioravanti, Tereschenko and Nelson Mason (Teo Martin Motorsport).
Pietro Fittipaldi (Lotus)
“We knew we needed a good start and we had a decent one but Egor started even better. Knowing that is really hard to overtake during the race and that there was some dirt in turn 2, I cut underneath him. We got really close and it was good from him to give me room, I kept it flat and got ahead. After that it was just about having a good pace and controlling the race which we did. I want to thank the team, my sponsors and Jaime Alguersuari for this great championship.”
Egor Orudzhev (SMP Racing by AVF)
“The start was good, we worked on that since yesterday. This time I think I did a really good job but then in the second corner I don’t know why the lower gear didn’t go in so I made it with one gear up and that’s why Pietro overtook me. There wasn’t anything I could do as I didn’t want to put him in the gravel. I tried to push him in the first laps but with his pace I wouldn’t have able to look after my tires. Then we did an early pit-stop as we planned and the AVF guys performed great as usual, so thank you very much to them for that. It’s great we had our pace back this weekend and now we just have to continue and get points.”
Matevos Isaakyan (SMP Racing by AVF)
“My start wasn’t so good but I managed to keep my position. Unfortunately the speed wasn’t there as it was yesterday so for the whole race I had to take care of Celis behind me and watch for the gap. I saved the DRS and the rear tires, keeping third place. This is the second podium finish in a row, quite a good result for the championship.”
Damiano Fioravanti (RP Motorsport)
“After a difficult couple of races at Spa-Francorchamps and Monza with lots of bad luck, and yesterday’s mechanical problem on the grid, today we went back running at our full potential, and without a not so perfect start it could have been even better. The race pace and balance of the car were really good so we look forward to the next round.”