Aurelien Panis (Arden Motorsport) scores Maiden win)


 The opening round of the 2016 Formula V8 3.5 championship was completed today at Motorland Aragón before a cheering crowd of families who enjoyed the series’ great entertainment occasions in an exciting show culminated with the running of race 2. The win eventually went to Aurélien Panis (Arden Motorsport), who crossed the line followed by poleman Tom Dillmann (AVF) and by Renè Binder (Lotus).

Egor Orudzhev (Arden Motorsport) was once again off to a tough start as he waved hands on the starting grid forcing to an additional formation lap. As a consequence, the race distance was reduced to 38 minutes plus one lap. When the lights went off, Panis took the lead in front of Dillmann, while Binder managed the turn 1 traffic well to take third. On the other hand, Louis Delétraz (Fortec Motorsports) had a troubled getaway as he ended up spinning following to a contact with Matthieu Vaxiviere that forced the SMP Racing driver to retire.

The two leading Frenchmen soon started to pull away from the pack, with Binder consolidating his position. After delivering a phenomenal start, Johnny Cecotto Jr (RP Motorspot) moved on Yu Kanamaru (Teo Martin Motorspost) right before coming in for the first pit-stop of the 2016 season.

Delétraz began a bold recovery from his early miscue and fought back to seventh place by lap 13, when all the drivers completed the mandatory pit-stops. The last drivers to come in were Panis and Dillmann: despite the loss of a couple of seconds, the latter was able to stay in the hunt.

On lap 15, Déletraz moved on Alfonso Celis Jr (AVF) for sixth place in turn 16, but the Mexican went long under braking resulting in a contact. Celis lost his left front endplate, while the young Swissman got one further spot back on the following lap with a pass on Cecotto for his second rookie win of the weekend.

In the end, Panis went on to a solitary maiden win with a Formula Renault 3.5 racecar, grabbing the championship lead with 35 points, tied with Delétraz. Dillmann scored his second straight podium finish and stands just two lengths away. While Binder got his maiden podium, AVF cruised to the top of the team standings with 45 points.