The World Series Formula V8 3.5 weekend at Jerez De La Frontera provided fans with some exciting action in Race 1 held today at the southern Spanish venue. Crossing the line ahead of the pack was Israeli racer Roy Nissany (RP Motorsport), who led from start to finish after taking off from P2 to secure his maiden win of 2017 and a really important one for his Italian team. By finishing fourth, Rene Binder (Lotus) was able to retain the championship lead by four points over Nissany.
The biggest heartbreak came at the very beginning when poleman Egor Orudzhev (SMP Racing by AVF) struggled off the line and was passed by Nissany. The young Russian, who managed to hold onto second place, also made contact with Yu Kanamaru (RP Motorsport) as the Japanese tried to gain ground in an incident where no action was taken.
The initial stages saw Nissany pull away followed by Orudzhev, Pietro Fittipaldi (Lotus), Matevos Isaakyan (SMP Racing by AVF), René Binder (Lotus) and Alfonso Celis Jr. while Nelson Mason (Teo Martin Motorsport) got a great jump among rookies. Mason later attacked Celis to gain one position.
A mechanical issue soon sidelined Orudzhev though, who stopped at the side of the track on lap 5 prompting a safety car intervention to provide safe conditions for the marshals. As the race went back to green on lap 8, Fittipaldi made a bold outside move in turn 1 but could not make it stick as Nissany began pulling away again.
The pack stayed the same with the only notable action involving rookies Diego Menchaca (RP Motorsport) and Konstantin Tereschenko (Teo Martin Motorsport) who were followed by Giuseppe Cipriani (Il Barone Rampante). With 20 laps on the board, Celis started to close the gap to Mason, while Fittipaldi was pushing as hard as he could to catch Nissany.
Eventually none of the two battles changed the order with Nissany scoring his first win of the year in front of Fittipaldi, Isaakyan, Rene Binder (Lotus) and Mason, who topped the rookie ranking by prevailing at a last gasp on Celis. Today’s race was the first one featuring live TV coverage in Israel which added an even more meaningful flavour to Nissany’s win.
Roy Nissany (RP Motorsport)
“It is a great relief to be in P1 especially because in the last few races we were so close but not right there. Finally we won. It was a tough race and not an easy job to achieve but at the end we got it right. The race seemed so, so, so long, almost infinite but thanks God it’s now over. Before the safety-car I felt my car really good and I was opening a good gap. Afterwards I felt like the tires were losing balance but that’s part of the game and we managed to keep P1 to take victory.”
Pietro Fittipaldi (Lotus)
“Today we had very hot conditions. Unfortunately in qualifying we got a little bit of traffic during the fastest lap but we knew we had a good car for the race. We have been working on starts and we got a good one now, and then I caught Roy towards the end and I saw he was struggling a bit but on this track it is really difficult to overtake. As soon as you get behind someone in the fast corners it is really hard to stay behind. I was pushing and waiting for him to make a mistake but he did a good job. We took second and we will be pushing for the win tomorrow.”
Matevos Isaakyan (SMP Racing by AVF)
“From P7 it’s a great result I think. I was already P4 after the first corner despite being blocked at the start but I managed to keep the pace and stay behind the leaders. I knew the race would have been long and very hot so I saved the tires a bit. As soon as I got in clean air I started to push to the limit and I caught the guys really fast so hopefully tomorrow will be even better.”
Nelson Mason (Teo Martin Motorsport)
“It was one of the toughest races of my life. We ran out of rear tires really early after I got past Alfonso and from then it was just trying to manage the race. I tried to pull a bit of a gap which I did but then the tires went away so I was just keeping him at bay. I saw Yu chasing him and I knew I was in real trouble if I couldn’t keep him behind. It was a great run, we are happy with P5 and I hope we have more tomorrow.”