Oliver Rowland, Fortec, Formula Renault 3.5, Le Mans, 2015

FR3.5 and Euro F3 titles clinched on penultimate weekends

Weekend racing wrap

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Both the Formula Renault 3.5 and European Formula Three titles were wrapped up this weekend with one round to spare.

Elsewhere the DTM, BTCC and WTCC title fights neared their conclusions, and NASCAR’s Chase for the Cup continued.

The World Karting Championship – now awarded Super License points by the FIA – also concluded, while there was an unusual accident in the French Porsche Carrera Cup Championship.

Formula Renault 3.5

Rounds 8: Le Mans Bugatti, France

Oliver Rowland, Fortec, Formula Renault 3.5, Le Mans, 2015
Rowland equalled Carlos Sainz Jnr’s record for most Formula Renault 3.5 wins in a season

Oliver Rowland only needed to avoid losing points to Matthieu Vaxiviere in his rival’s home round at Le Mans, and a record-equalling seventh win of the season on Saturday made that at inevitability.

Despite qualifying a disappointing 14th for Sunday’s race, Rowland recovered to eighth which was more than enough to secure the title.

Vaxiviere had finished second on the road to Rowland but a ten-second penalty for one of several off-track excursions left him tenth. The pair made contact at one stage, leaving Vaxiviere with front wing damage and Rowland with a deep gouge in his tyre which, remarkably, held until the chequered flag.

In the second race Vaxiviere pushed Egor Orudzhev hard for the win, but as in Hungary the Russian rookie’s defensive driving proved up to the job and he took his second victory of the year.

Next race: Jerez, Spain (17th-18th October

European Formula 3

Round 10: Nurburgring, Germany

Felix Rosenqvist, Prema Powerteam, European F3, Nurburgring, 2015
Felix Rosenqvist won the European F3 crown
Felix Rosenqvist dominated the Nurburgring race weekend much as he did the last two races at the last round in Algarve, by taking pole, fastest lap, and the win in each of the three races.

This – combined with less than impressive results from main rivals Antonio Giovinazzi and Charles Leclerc – was enough for Rosenqvist to seal the title in his sixth year as an F3 driver.

Next race: Hockenheimring, Germany (17th-18th October)

DTM

Round 8: Nurburgring, Germany

Mercedes driver Pascal Wehrlein moved one step closer to the 2015 DTM title after a third and a fifth place, and now has a 37-point advantage with just 50 available.

Lucas Auer took a surprise pole in race one, but could only manage sixth as Maxime Martin took his first win of the season ahead of title rivals Edorado Mortara and Wehrlein. Miguel Molina was another surprise pole sitter for race two, but unlike Auer managed to hold on to his lead and take a first ever series win, ahead of former F1 racer Paul di Resta Bruno Spengler.

Next race: Hockenheimring, Germany (17th-18th October)

British Touring Car Championship

Round 9: Silverstone

Race one saw the on-form Mat Jackson on pole for the first race, and the Motorbase Ford driver held onto the lead for the entire duration of the race, winning in dominant fashion ahead of Andrew Jordan and Gordon Shedden, and taking pole for race two with fastest lap.

Andy Priaulx and Jack Goff sacrificed their race one results to drop to the back and secure good grid spots for race two. For Priaulx it worked extremely well, jumping to second from third on the grid before later muscling his way past leader Jackson, who later retired with a puncture. Jack Goff and Aron Smith completed the podium after a race long battle.

The entire top ten were reversed for race three, but James Cole – on his first pole position – couldn’t capitalise, eventually being bumped off by Jason Plato. Colin Turkington won to keep his Championship hopes alive, leading home the BMW pair of Rob Collard and Sam Tordoff. After three strong races compared to Plato’s mediocre weekend – ruined by a puncture late in race one – Gordon Shedden heads to the final three races at Brands Hatch with over a win in hand.

The video above is from qualifying as race highlights are not yet available.

Next race: Brands Hatch GP (11th October)

World Touring Car Championship

Round 10: Shanghai, China

Jose Maria Lopez moved within touching distance of defending his title with a win and a third place at Shanghai. Team mate Yvan Muller closed slightly with a second and a win, while Sebastian Loeb completed a Citroen podium sweep in race one, before making it three Citroen’s in the top four in race two, with only Gabriele Tarquini’s Honda in second interrupting a second sweep.

Next race: Chang, Thailand (1st November)

NASCAR

Round 28: New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Kevin Harvick led over two-thirds of the race but ran out of fuel with two laps to go, handing victory to Matt Kenseth.

Next race: Dover International Speedway (4th October)

Also last weekend

Karol Basz, CIK-FIA World Karting Championship KF, La Conca, 2015
Karol Basz won the KF World Karting Championship
It was business as usual in F1 after the one-off last week in Singapore, Lewis Hamilton storming to victory ahead of Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel, to further extend his championship advantage.

The CIK-FIA KF World Karting Championship was contested by 163 drivers at La Conca in Italy. Poland’s Karol Basz won the senior event and was handed his trophy by Jarno Trulli. Basz also earned five superlicence points under the FIA’s new-for-2016 system. Britain’s Jordon Lennox-Lamb was second ahead of Dane Nicklas Nielsen. Former GP2 driver Ben Hanley was fifth. American 14-year-old Logan Sargeant won the junior category.

The French GT Tour made its way to Navarra in Spain for the penultimate round of the season, and was accompanied as usual by the French Porsche Carrera Cup series, which for once stole the headlines. During the second race of the weekend, Joffrey De Narda spun and was struck by Jules Gounon (son of ex-F1 driver Jean-Marc), who car rode up De Narda’s bonnet and perched neatly on top of his rival’s car. Both drivers escaped injury and de Narda even managed to win the third race after Mathieu Jaminet took the honours in the first two.

Over to you

Which of these races did you see, and what did you enjoy? Do you think Formula Renault 3.5 and European F3 produced worthy Champions? Let us know in the comments below.

Next weekend is EuroFormula Open, NASCAR and the WRC from France as the series returns to Corsica for the first time since 2008 with an unusual nine stage format.

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  • 8 comments on “FR3.5 and Euro F3 titles clinched on penultimate weekends”

    1. Rowland is a great champion. He already had a very good debut year in FR3.5 last year and this year has been outstanding. I’d say the man is ready for an F1 debut. Good stuff from Vaxivière too, who has been a good rival to Rowland but has been a bit more inconsistent.
      Stoneman and de Vries did well in their rookie year but it would have been nice to see both of them clinching a victory. Maybe that’s still possible in the last round.

      As for Rosenqvist, I think this title is long overdue. He’s been in F3 for so long, and he has performed so well, but could never really finish the job. I think he deserves it although I have some reservations for drivers staying in a series for so long. I guess he doesn’t have the funding necessary to graduate to higher series? I hope this will help him in doing so – time is slowly running out for him as he’s getting pretty old to be in F3.

      1. Yeah Rowland seems like a real talent, would be good if Manor picked him up for next year.

    2. Rosenqvist won the Zandvoort Masters for the first time four years ago! Five years in F3 is a very, very long time. He had a very convincing campaign, fighting back from a bad start (he was put at the back of the grid at Silverstone) to dominate, but he had no excuses for doing otherwise: Prema Powerteam had won the previous four championships…

      I skipped the DTM this weekend and did not regret it when I saw the results. What a laugh. First Blomqvist wins Oschersleben, then Auer on pole, Götz scoring top fives… These three were often sharing the back rows when the year started, and their progress has had little to do with their talent, which, I clarify, I do not doubt. Still, through all this Wehrlein has somehow managed to be consistent and will probably be champion, and he’ll deserve it, but it matters little – it’s all about the Superlicence points, isn’t it.

      1. It’s good they are going to review the success-weight.

    3. I do not believe Roberto Merhi should be in F1, the title winners show more promise than he does in my point of view.

      1. @kwekuq so what about Will Stevens then? Like Marcus Ericsson, his best championship finish was 6th in his 4th year in FR3.5 (Ericsson achieving that same feat in GP2)

        1. @MattyPF1 Will Stevens too and Marcus Ericsson. They are not there on Merit. J Palmer should rather be in that seat as GP2 champ. Only champions should be in the category. Max being an exception. He clearly is whipping butt in F1, but that is a one of a kind talent I think…. But that is just me.

          1. @kwekuq couldn’t agree with you more mate. I’m just hoping Stoffel gets a seat in F1 as a seat at McLaren for him is not a possibility anymore

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