WSR: Vaxiviere wins opening race at Spa-Francorchamps

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Matthieu Vaxiviere has become the first driver to win two races in the 2015 Formula Renault 3.5 season after beating Jazeman Jaafar and Dean Stoneman in today’s round at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

Appearing on the World Series by Renault package as its headline event, Formula Renault 3.5 acts as the final step for drivers en route to F1 and has helped to launch the careers of drivers such as Kevin Magnussen, Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo.

Vaxiviere won his first race of the year at Motorland Aragon at the end of April, but managed to clinch his second victory after fighting back to win today at Spa-Francorchamps.

Starting from pole position, the Lotus driver lost the lead to Arden’s Nicholas Latifi and was forced to toil in second place for six laps before making a brave pass around the outside of Pouhons to regain the lead.

From there, Vaxiviere pushed on to open up a lead to the rest of the field, eventually crossing the line with an advantage of five seconds over championship leader Jazeman Jaafar.

“I made a real mess of my start; we have to look at this to avoid it happening again,” Vaxiviere said. “I like driving the car with low-downforce and I was able to pressure Nicholas.

“He made a mistake and I made the most of this situation to try my passing move. I am happy with this win and I want to thank the team for all the work it had done.”

Red Bull-backed junior driver Dean Stoneman finished a further six seconds back in P3 ahead of Latifi and British racer Oliver Rowland.

The second race of the weekend at Spa takes place on Sunday afternoon, with qualifying being held in the morning.