27 Jun Second Win for Louis Delétraz in Formula V8 3.5 Championship
A clever pitstop strategy by multi-championship winning Fortec Motorsports, along with blistering pace from his Dallara-Zytek charger, ensured young Swiss racer Louis Delétraz his second win of the Formula V8 3.5 series season at the Circuit Paul Ricard this weekend.
The cool yet dry climate in southern France welcomed the teams back to the V8 3.5 action following a month-long break in the 2016 calendar. Friday saw the usual double practice sessions and Renault Sport Academy driver Louis Delétraz setting the second fastest lap times in both outings. Fortec teammate Pietro Fittipaldi set the 12th fastest time in the morning, and jumped up to P5 in the afternoon to take the second fastest rookie slot on the time sheet.
Louis secured fifth position in qualifying on Saturday morning with Pietro finishing P13 for the start of the afternoon’s race. After a slow start from the third row of the grid, Louis spent much of the race held up behind Yu Kanamaru (Teo Martin Motorsport), but was able to clinch sixth place shortly before the finish and achieve his sixth fastest rookie accolade. Unfortunately, Pietro was forced to retire after a solid running in P10 when he was hit by Vitor Baptista (RPM) on lap eight of the 22-lap contest.
Following a superb qualifying effort by the Fortec pair on Sunday morning, Louis and Pietro lined up in third and eleventh respectively for race two. After a good start off the line Pietro pitted on lap six, with Louis following on lap eight for the mandatory tyres change. With both Fortec drivers now on fresh boots before the rest of the frontrunners, the duo was able to take advantage of the track opening up in front of them as their rivals started to take turns in the pit lane. With race leader Roy Nissany (Lotus) in on lap 14, Louis was able to create a large enough gap to command the lead until the chequered flag. Pietro maintained a solid P7 and brought home six valuable points at the end of the 23 laps contest.
A 33 points haul from round four retains Louis Delétraz’s second place in the 2016 Driver’s Championship (110 points total). Pietro Fittipaldi is in P13 on 16 points with is title-defending team currently sitting in fourth position on the Teams’ table with 126 points.
Louis Delétraz, car #1 Fortec Motorsports
“It was an amazing second race! We have been quick since Friday, punctuated with some unlucky moments, but today we just brought it all together. We decided on a different strategy to the others and kept pushing all the way through. The team made it work with an amazing pitstop and I am very happy for the win.”
Pietro Fittipaldi, car #2 Fortec Motorsports
“After a tough start to the weekend on Saturday we were able to finish with a strong 7th. I am happy with the result of Sunday’s race but our goal is to be on the podium in the next couple rounds so the team and I will work our hardest as always to get there.”
Richard Dutton, Team Owner, Fortec Motorsports
“It was unfortunate that Pietro got hit from behind in race one, but he made up for it in race two! Pietro showed great pace and was catching championship leader Tom Dillmann towards the end; P7 is a solid result for him. Louis has had a very good weekend. A poor start to yesterday’s race made it hard for him to catch the leaders, but he had good speed. Sadly, Louis was stuck behind Kanamaru until the last lap, where he made a bold move around the outside! Today couldn’t have gone any better; a great pit stop strategy bumped Louis up to P1 and getting fastest lap won him the race. A top job by everyone in the team.”
The next stop for Formula V8 3.5 series will be on 23-24 July 2016 at Silverstone Circuit, Northamptonshire, UK.