WSR: Ellinas wins again as Rowland edges towards title

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Tio Ellinas claimed his second win of the Formula Renault 3.5 season on Sunday in a rain-affected race at the Nürburgring in Germany.

Ellinas took his first win in the series at Silverstone last weekend, but wasted little time in doubling up this weekend as he led home a Strakka Racing one-two ahead of teammate Gustav Malja.

The race appeared to be going the way of Pietro Fantin after the Brazilian opened up a healthy lead on a damp track in the opening stages, only for a safety car period to wipe away his advantage.

Having pitted before the safety car, Ellinas was able to assume the lead of the race once the front-runners had pitted despite requiring a new nosecone earlier on due to a clash with Roy Nissany.

The Cypriot racer came under intense pressure from Malja in the closing stages as heavy rain hit the Nürburgring, but was ultimately able to hang on and record his second win of the season.

“Before the race, we tried to figure out which tires to start on. As the leaders chose slicks, we just went with the pack,” Ellinas said.

“From fifth on the grid, I got a good start, but Roy Nissany broke my wing when I tried to pass him. I had to stop and I lost more time as Gustav came out ahead of me one lap later.

“At the re-start, I pushed as much as I could and once I had the lead, I no longer had any reference points. Gustav surprised me but I answered back and then I just had to stay in front on the last lap.”

McLaren junior Nyck de Vries rounded out the podium in third place, finishing ahead of Alfonso Celis Jr. and Egor Orudzhev. Dean Stoneman came home in sixth, followed by Marlon Stockinger, Rene Binder and Fantin, who dropped to P9 thanks to a post-race penalty.

Oliver Rowland extended his lead at the top of the championship despite only finishing tenth, having experienced a difficult race. The Briton took home one point, but after title rival Matthieu Vaxiviere slid into the gravel on the last lap, it was enough to give him a 50-point lead at the end of the weekend.

As a result, Rowland simply needs to match Vaxiviere’s score at the next double-header round in Le Mans to win the 2015 Formula Renault 3.5 championship with one round to spare.