Jerez FR3.5: Rowland surpasses Sainz's record with dominant win
Formula Renault 3.5 champion Oliver Rowland claimed his eighth win of the season with a supreme showing in the penultimate race of the season at Jerez.
In doing so, the Briton surpassed Carlos Sainz's 2014 record of seven wins in a single campaign and will remain the holder for years to come, with the series set to go through a re-branding next year.
In the wet conditions, the race began with two laps under the Safety Car and poleman Tom Dillmann subsequently headed the field into Turn 1 as the green flags waved.
The Frenchman looked comfortable in the conditions early on, quickly pulling away from Rowland, who came under serious pressure from Egor Orudzhev.
The latter briefly edged ahead of Rowland on the main straight at the beginning of lap seven, but Rowland held firm and managed to maintain second place.
And, on that very lap, the Briton drastically upped the pace, going a full second quicker than Dillmann and mounting a serious challenge for the lead.
Dillmann did his best to hold off Rowland until lap 10, but eventually yielded at Turn 5 - and was passed by Orudzhev on the very same lap as well.
He then continued to lose time and slowed to a crawl with a rear-left puncture.
With Dillmann out of the way, Rowland began to establish a massive lead, pulling out seven seconds on Orudzhev in just a few laps.
The Russian, however, was himself under no threat in second, with Matthieu Vaxiviere well adrift after having passed Jazeman Jaafar for third.
There would be no further changes for the podium from that point on, with Rowland heading Orudzhev by 11 seconds at the chequered flag and Vaxiviere completing the top three.
Nyck de Vries passed Jaafar for fourth at Michelin, with Tio Ellinas then demoting the Malaysian to sixth.
Nicholas Latifi was down to P17 at the opening lap, but recovered with a brilliant drive to finish seventh, with Andre Negrao, Roy Nissany and Yu Kanamaru making up the points.
DAMS driver Dean Stoneman was among the few gambling on slick tyres and finished down in P13 due to a mid-race spin.
|1||Oliver Rowland||Fortec Motorsports||43'14.735|
|2||Egor Orudzhev||Arden Motorsport||10.879|
|4||Nyck de Vries||DAMS||16.481|
|5||Tio Ellinas||Strakka Racing||26.020|
|6||Jazeman Jaafar||Fortec Motorsports||43.150|
|7||Nicholas Latifi||Arden Motorsport||48.729|
|9||Roy Nissany||Tech 1 Racing||56.522|
|10||Yu Kanamaru||Pons Racing||58.066|
|11||Gustav Malja||Strakka Racing||58.633|
|14||Nikita Zlobin||Pons Racing||1'14.231|
|17||Marlon Stockinger||Lotus||1 Lap|
|Ret||Aurelien Panis||Tech 1 Racing|
Jerez FR3.5: Dillmann beats Rowland to claim maiden pole
Formula 3.5 gets nine-round calendar as Monza, Paul Ricard and Catalunya return