28 Apr Oliver Rowland takes maiden win
Oliver Rowland took his maiden win in the Formula Renault 3.5 this weekend, becoming the first rookie to win the headliner category of the World Series by Renault this season. The stunning lights to flag victory puts Ollie second in the championship and Fortec at the top of the team’s championship.
Ollie lined up on pole for Sunday’s race after putting in a best time of 1:39.885 in the morning’s qualifying session. As the lights went out the Racing Steps Foundation backed driver made a great start, holding his position and keeping second placed Pietro Fantin at bay. Meanwhile teammate Sergey Sirotkin also had a good start, picking up two positions to slot into fifth.
Whilst some of the field opted for early pit-stops, maintaining his first place position Ollie made his mandatory pitstop on lap 10. After a quick turn around from the team he emerged to lead the pack once again.
“This was the first race pit-stop that I’ve ever done!” Commented Ollie. “I was a bit nervous but I had quite a big gap so was able to keep control.”
Consistently gaining pace and increasing his lead Ollie went on to cross the line in first, taking his maiden win in the category by just over 13-seconds.
For Sergey his race wasn’t to go plan when his anti stall kicked in, he then made contact with Roberto Merhi causing his anti stall to kick in once more and his right rear lower wishbone to break. The young Russian unfortunately retired from the race on lap 19.
Commenting on his race Ollie said: “It was really important to get a good start and we chose high down-force which meant you had to be clever with the DRS. Fortunately we had unbelievable pace throughout the race and it was just a case of controlling everything.
“The car was incredible, even at the end. The team did a great job and I can’t thank them enough.”