Tio Ellinas took the win in the final Formula Renault 3.5 race of the weekend at the Nurburgring, in what was a dramatic damp, to dry, to wet race in classic conditions.
In the damp conditions some drivers elected to start on slick tyres, including pole sitter Oliver Rowland. He didn’t get a good start, which was made doubly disappointing when he was tipped into a spin down at turn one by Malja, dropping him to last. Teammate Jasman Jaafar also didn’t start with an issue, whilst Dillmann made his way into P2 with Fantin leading.
Ellinas meanwhile challenged Nissany heading into lap two, with the pair making contact on the exit of the final corner which punctured the Tech 1 drivers tyre and forced him off into turn one. Stoneman was tipped into a spin further back, which allowed Rowland through who was starting to switch on his tyres.
Gelael was in the wars in the Carlin, cutting the final chicane before getting ahead of Rowland and co, tagging the Fortec driver into turn one which sent him spinning in what was a pretty poor couple of corners. That allowed Rowland to gain more places, and even more in the next couple of corners when Malja and Bonifacio tangled in the tricky conditions down at the hairpin.
As the first round of stops came through, Rowland made his way up to P3 and just a couple of seconds behind title rival Vaxiviere. In the clean air Rowland pumped in the fastest laps, but before he could gain on the leaders the Safety Car came out for Panis’ stricken Tech 1 at the first corner.
When the Safety Car came in the leaders – who hadn’t pitted at this point – had to stretch the gap out to the midfielders, whilst the de-facto leaders battled further back. This turned out to be the two Strakka drivers, who were side-by-side into turn one before a slower Tom Dillmann on wet tyres oversteered and forced Malja off the road head into turn three, allowing Ellinas through.
Dillmann dropped even further down the order at this point, eventually pitting for dry tyres. Up front Rowland pitted for rear tyres only and rejoined in P14, whilst De Vries made an aggressive move on Celis Jr for de-facto P4 into turn one.
In the next couple of laps Stoneman pitted and came out ahead of Rowland in P13, with Vaxiviere pitting in the closing stages and rejoining ahead of Bonifacio in P9. This turned out to redundant however, as in the final two laps sprinkles of rain turned into showers and made the track treacherous. Malja made a move on a slower Ellinas into turn one, with the pair duking for position through the first couple of corners before Ellinas was able to retake the lead.
Meanwhile further back Rowland spun heading into turn two, but in the next couple of corners Vaxiviere spun and allowed the Fortec driver back into the points – but crucially forcing the Lotus driver out of the points in P11. At the chequered flag it was Ellinas from Malja, De Vries, Fantin, Celis Jr, Orudzhev, Stoneman, Binder, and Rowland.