Oliver Rowland surpasses Carlos Sainz’s record of seven wins in a season today, after taking victory at Jerez in slippery conditions.
The race started under Safety Car, with polesitter Tom Dillmann leading the field away on what looked like a drying circuit initially. The Carlin driver was aware of this, searching for puddles off the racing line in order to protect his wet tyres and stop them from overheating.
Rowland however had the measure on him, and after a brief exchange of position with Orudzhev the Fortec driver went nose-to-tail with the Carlin car through the first couple of corners, as Dillmann struggled to put the power down. Coming out of the first sector Rowland made a bid for the lead, taking him up the inside which in turn allowed Orudzhev to get a run on him, and overtake into the final couple of corners.
Dillmann’s luck went from bad to worse when he emerged the next lap with a puncture, forcing him to pit and drop down the order. Carlin did roll the dice by putting him on the dry tyres, which made some including biggest mover at the start Dean Stoneman to pit, after he started to match Rowland’s times. But after he dropped two laps to the leader Carlin called it a day, after showing promising form in Qualifying earlier this morning.
Whilst that went on a battle for third emerged between Rowland’s teammate Jazmann Jaafar, who was defending from a racy Matthieu Vaxiviere. The Lotus driver battled for position over the course of two laps, whilst Jaafar took some brilliant defensive lines to hold off the challenge. But after a bit of tank slapper coming out of the first sector, Vaxiviere took full advantage and stole the position.
Jaafar moved further down the order when De Vries moved up into P4, with Ellinas demoting him further by taking P5. In the closing stages a battle for the final points positions emerged between Latifi, Negrao, Nissany and Kanamaru, with those who switched to the dry tyres suddenly starting to struggle as they couldn’t find any heat in them, including Stoneman who spun down in P18.
But it was Oliver Rowland, who looked effortless throughout the whole race that took the win from Orudzhev and Vaxiviere.