His victory yesterday at just 18 years of age makes Kevin Korjus (Tech 1 Racing) the youngest driver to win a race in Formula Renault 3.5 Series. Leading from start to finish, the Estonian crossed the finish line ahead of Alexander Rossi (Fortec Motorsport) and Albert Costa (Epic Racing). First yesterday, second today, Alexander Rossi leaves Motorland Aragon as championship leader.
The night was long for some teams, but all twenty-six cars were on track for the second qualifying session of the weekend. After a round of observation on worn tires, the starting grid for race 2 took shape in the final minutes of qualifying. Cesar Ramos (Fortec Motorsport) secured his first pole position in Formula Renault 3.5 Series ahead of Kevin Korjus, making it a 100%-rookie front row, with Italian F3 champion just in front of the 2010 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 champion.
Korjus Kevin got away to a perfect start and took command of the race into turn one ahead of Albert Costa and Cesar Ramos. The first corner saw lively action, as often, with a coming together between Stphane Richelmi (International Draco Racing), Walter Grubmuller (P1 Motorsport) and Brandon Hartley (Gravity-Charouz).
Kevin Korjus made a solid start to the race despite constant pressure put on him by Albert Costa. In third, Cesar Ramos kept Nelson Panciatici (KMP Racing), Robert Wickens (Carlin) and Alexander Rossi all at bay. For a few laps Kevin Korjus, Albert Costa and Cesar Ramos all vyed for quickest race lap. Alexander Rossi was the first of the leaders to pit for a tire change, followed by Albert Costa a lap later, and then Robert Wickens. The Carlin drivers pitstop didnt go well and the Canadian lost a few precious seconds in the process. Just as Kevin Korjust pitted, Nelson Panciatici, up until then busy fighting for the podium, found himself at a standstill with a fuel pressure problem.
Following the series of pit stops, Kevin Korjus was still in the lead ahead of Alexander Rossi. The U.S. driver gained considerable advantage going up from sixth to second, after stopping earlier than his opponents and going on to post a series of fast laps. Rossi found himself now back in touch with Korjus, while Albert Costa, now third, opened up a good gap ahead of Cesar Ramos in fourth. The Brazilian had to focus on Robert Wickens, positioned just behind him and ready to seize the slightest opportunity
Kevin Korjus became, at just 18 years 3 months and 8 days, the youngest driver to win a race in Formula Renault 3.5 Series, appropriating that particular accolade from Charles Pic and his victory in Monaco in 2008. By finishing second, Alexander Rossi leaves Motorland Aragon on top of the overall standings. Next meeting: Spa-Francorchamps.
QuotesKevin Korjus: "It's amazing, I really did not expect to win so early. Right from free practice, I saw that we had the speed to do well, but yesterday the day was terrible. Today everything worked well. The team did a dream of a pit stop and my car got better and better. Winning at Spa, Monza or Monaco will be harder, but I'm really happy today."
Alexander Rossi: "We suffered in qualifying. I lost time in traffic early in the race and the team was right to decide to have me pit early. I tried to put pressure on Kevin, but he hasnt made the slightest mistake and I never had a chance to overtake him. It's a good weekend for me, I'm in the lead in the championship, but the most difficult stuff remains to be done."
Albert Costa: "This is not the track that suits me best and things didnt necessary work out too well, but I'm happy to be on the podium already with Epic Racing. The tracks that are coming up will suit me better and that's where well see our true potential. I'm in the race for the title!"