Aragon F3.5: Deletraz dominates as Orudzhev crashes

Renault junior Louis Deletraz strolled to victory in the season-opening Formula V8 3.5 race at Motorland Aragon after poleman Egor Orudzhev crashed on the first lap.

Aragon F3.5: Deletraz dominates as Orudzhev crashes
Louis Deletraz, Fortec Motorsports
Tom Dillmann, AVF
Roy Nissany, Lotus
Alfonso Celis Jr., AVF
Matthieu Vaxivière, SMP Racing

Orudzhev comfortably headed Deletraz off the line but missed the braking point into the Turn 8-9 chicane, cutting the corner.

However, due to the elevation change, he ended up demolishing his front wing while rejoining the track and would go on to retire in the pits.

As Deletraz inherited the lead, a fast-starting Alfonso Celis moved up to second, but by the end of the lap, the Mexican would be overtaken by a even faster-starting Matthieu Vaxiviere, who had lined up 10th on the grid.

With Deletraz out front enjoying a massive pace advantage on his chasers, the Swiss driver's lead grew and grew as the race went on, passing the 10-second mark at the halfway point.

At the chequered flag, the Renault junior became the first driver to win on his debut in the 3.5-litre category since fellow Fortec driver Stoffel Vandoorne in the Monza opener back in 2013.

Twelve seconds adrift, Vaxiviere finished second, having held off Celis for much of the race.

The AVF driver appeared to have the pace on the Frenchman early on, but began to struggle massively in the final laps, running wide corner after corner and tumbling down the order.

His woes allowed teammate Tom Dillmann to finish third after a poor start.

Rene Binder took fourth, holding off Aurelien Panis, with Celis ending up down in sixth.

It was seventh for Binder's teammate Roy Nissany, while Vitor Baptista emerged victorious in a multi-lap scrap with teammate Johnny Cecotto, Beitske Visser and Pietro Fittipaldi, the latter nursing a damaged front wing.

Visser ended up ninth, having made contact with Fittipaldi earlier and then spinning after an incident with teammate Yu Kanamaru, who had to subsequently retire.

The top 10 was rounded out by Cecotto.

UPDATE: Visser received a 10-second penalty for practicing the start during the formation lap.

Race 1 results

Pos. Driver Team Gap
1 Louis Deletraz Fortec Motorsports 41:53.608
2 Matthieu Vaxiviere SMP Racing 11.842
3 Tom Dillmann AVF 13.026
4 Rene Binder Lotus 15.661
5 Aurelien Panis Arden Motorsport 16.251
6 Alfonso Celis AVF 22.333
7 Roy Nissany Lotus 34.627
8 Vitor Baptista RP Motorsport 49.552
9 Johnny Cecotto RP Motorsport 52.185
10 Beitske Visser Teo Martin Motorsport 1:00.395
11 Pietro Fittipaldi Fortec Motorsports 1:09.585
12 Matevos Isaakyan SMP Racing 1:15.491
13 Giuseppe Cipriani Durango Racing Team 1 Lap
Ret Yu Kanamaru Teo Martin Motorsport  
Ret Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport  
Aragon F3.5: Orudzhev beats Deletraz to pole by 0.013s
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