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Formula V8
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May 23, 2016

Orudzhev returns to victory in Spa

Russian Formula V8 star back on the top step of the podium

Egor Orudzhev had broken his series of unfortunate events with a win in the first race at the Spa Francorchamps circuit this weekend.

The Russian, who qualified third but promoted to second (due to Matthieu Vaxiviere’s technical infringement) had a stellar start passing team-mate Aurelien into the lead at turn 1.  Egor handled the pressure from Series leader Tom Dillman (AVF) keeping him in his mirrors for the 21 lap race to take the chequered flag and 25points. Starting in pole, Aurelien had a poor start off the line, dropping back to eleventh on the first lap The Frenchman recovered to eighth where he crossed the line to pick up 4 points.

Egor’s glory lasted only until the following morning where he only managed nine laps in the second qualifying session. The SMP back driver had engine failure at turn 10 on his second push, leaving him fourteenth on the table with his earlier best time of 2'01.709. Aurelien almost equalled his performance 24hours later as he posted the third quickest time (1'59.816) in the second qualifying session for Race 2.

The afternoon race was started under safety car as the heavy rainfall darkened conditions. Aurelien held third as the safety car came in. As the pit window opened, the Frenchman stayed out leading from lap seven under safety car (Johnny Cecotto Jnr & Roy Nissany collision) until he came in for fresh wets on lap 11. Despite the quickest pit stop recorded that day, Aurelien came out 5th collecting a large portion of the points available to maintain 3rd on the Series table.  Egor’s run of back luck returned - despite a good start, he pitted on lap 5 where there was a collision with Cecotto Jnr (RP Motorsport) ending the Russian’s race.

Egor:” We finally got a decent weekend after 2 disastrous rounds. On Friday we had some issues with car balance so for Saturday we decided to run different downforce level. Saturday went really well we managed P3 in qualifying with the car capable of pole.

For the first race we chose to come back to low downforce in order to prevent being overtaken, which worked well. In race I was keeping a lead quite comfortably until I made big mistake on braking and flat spotted the tyre. Still, I managed to hold on and won a race for us. Sunday was just not our day I would say.

Engine failure finished our qualifying early so had to start last. In the race in heavy rain I managed to get to p10 in the first 2 laps. The team made a right call for early pit-stop. My Team did great at a stop but a mistake from another’s team pit crew, who released their car just into me. So the other driver turned into me and my race was finished there. It was very disappointing as we could finish p4 as the safety car came out just after our stop.

Still, it was a positive weekend. Again we have mega speed so I look forward to fight next round in Paul Ricard.”
Aurelien: “It was not an easy weekend, but we scored some points again in the two races. The pace in qualifying was very good with my first pole position on the Saturday and P3 the Sunday in the last lap. Unfortunately, I had the anti-stall on Saturday during the start and I lost lots of positions. I was disappointed to finish P8 because the pace was good!

Sunday the condition was really hard with lots of rain ! We were fighting for the victory but once again we were unlucky with the safety car which ruined our strategy. We finished P5. We have to take the positives from this weekend and now I'm very looking forward for my home race in Le Castellet in one month time!”


Photo credit: www.dutchphotoagency.com

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