FR 3.5 - Martinez wins Race 1 at Spa

FR 3.5 Hat-trick of wins for Martinez!

Continuing where he left off a fortnight ago in Barcelona, Marcos Martinez (Pons Racing) takes his third win in a row at Spa-Francorchamps, putting him firmly in the lead of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series championship. The Spaniard finishes ahead of Belgian Bertrand Baguette (International Draco Racing), who also impressed today by making a fine comeback from 8th place on the grid. The podium trio is completed by Miguel Molina (Ultimate Motorsport).

Marco Barba took advantage of the reverse grid rule to start race 1 on pole position. Marcos Martinez and Daniil Move (P1 Motorsport) overtook him though, as soon as the lights went out. Barba now lay third, ahead of Charles Pic (Tech 1 Racing).

At the end of lap 1, Marcos Martinez led from Daniil Move, Marco Barba and Charles Pic. In fourth place, Bertrand Baguette lay some way behind the three leaders and was working hard to keep Miguel Molina, James Walker (P1 Motorsport) and Brendon Hartley (Tech 1 Racing) at bay. Out in front, Marcos Martinez began to pull away from Daniil Move. The battle for third raged between Marco Barba and Charles Pic. Bertrand Baguette, Miguel Molina and James Walker took advantage to make up ground and come back on the two front-men. Charles Pic was to pay heavily as Bertrand Baguette then Miguel Molina both overtook him. Behind Marcos Martinez, positions began to bunch up. Daniil Move was joined by a group composed of Barba / Baguette / Molina / Pic and Walker. Further down the field, Brendon Hartley, in 8th, was also having to defend his position against Pasquale di Sabatino (RC Motorsport), Chris Van der Drift (Epsilon Euskadi), Oliver Turvey (Carlin Motorsport) and Jaime Alguersuari (Carlin Motorsport).

Bertrand Baguette, who had started out at 8th place on the grid, was continuing his progress through the field and overtaking team-mate Marco Barba to shift up into 3rd place by the end of the 5th lap. The Belgian quickly closed the gap on Daniil Move. After four observation laps, Bertrand Baguette made his move at the “bus stop” chicane and was now in an impressive second place. At the same time, Miguel Molina passed Marco Barba to take 4th place. One lap later, it was Charles Pic’s turn to overtake the Spanish driver.

With twenty minutes left to race, Marcos Martinez had a lead of 2’’5 over Bertrand Baguette. Daniil Move was third ahead of Miguel Molina, Charles Pic, Marco Barba and James Walker. The unfortunate Walker was to abandon the field for the gravel trap. This was to the advantage of Oliver Turvey (Carlin Motorsport). Leader of the rookies, the English driver moved up to 7th place. He subsequently got the better of Marco Barba to take 6th.

Marcos Martinez drove to his third win in three races ahead of Bertrand Baguette. In the closing laps, Miguel Molina found the opening to pass Daniil Move and take third. The Russian driver was also caught off guard by Charles Pic in the last lap.

Quote, unquote: Marcos Martinez: “Our goal was to finish on the podium. I got off to a good start and I got into a good rhythm. I upped the pace when Bertrand Baguette came back to second place and I held the gap. This is a good result for us, it reinforces our championship lead.”

Bertrand Baguette: “It’s been a good day for us. I made a good start and I was a bit fortunate in les Combes. I wasn’t on the right line, but in the end it worked in my favour. Difficult to close on Marcos at the end of the race because my tires had taken a beating working my way past everyone else.”Miguel Molina: “After a difficult weekend in Barcelona, it’s very important for us to get back on the podium. It wasn’t easy to get past Daniil Move. He defended his position well. And it was impossible to catch Bertrand at the end of the race, so I’m very pleased with my points from 3rd!”

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