Robin Frijns took a dominant victory for Fortec in the second World Series by Renault Formula Renault 3.5 race of the weekend at Aragon.
The 2011 Formula Renault Eurocup champion, who was the man to beat in pre-season testing, inherited the top spot when early leader Marco Sorensen's Lotus car broke down on lap 10, and from there the Dutchman was never headed.
By then Frijns had worked his way into second place by passing Tech 1's Kevin Korjus on the opening lap, and ISR's Sam Bird at the start of lap six. Bird would go on to take second place, but the Briton spent the latter stages of the race 10 seconds adrift of the leader after a stunning sequence of laps enabled Frijns to ease away.
The fight for second place was a three-way affair towards the end, with Bird having to fend off Korjus and slow-starting polesitter Arthur Pic (DAMS). But as the two cars behind Bird fought each other, he was able to build up a cushion to keep second.
Pic was the star of the race after the pit stops. First he worked his way past Arden driver Alexander Rossi to take fourth, and after charging up to the Bird/Korjus battle, he grabbed third place three laps from the end at the first corner. The Frenchman ran out of time to put Bird under any serious pressure, while Korjus had to settle for a comfortable fourth ahead of Rossi and Richie Stanaway (Lotus).
The top two from race one had a day to forget. Saturday winner Nick Yelloly (Comtec) was caught up in a midfield accident at the first corner of the race and had to pit at the end of the opening lap, while Jules Bianchi had to start from the pitlane after his Tech 1 car failed to fire up for the warm-up lap.
The Ferrari junior driver was then handed a drive-through penalty during the race for his mechanics still being on the grid when the warm-up lap began, while Yelloly had a time penalty added on after the race for making his mandatory pit stop outside of the pit window.
Results - 27 laps:
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1. Robin Frijns Fortec 46m38.013s
2. Sam Bird ISR + 9.908s
3. Arthur Pic DAMS + 10.898s
4. Kevin Korjus Tech 1 + 15.787s
5. Alexander Rossi Arden + 21.180s
6. Richie Stanaway Lotus + 23.843s
7. Daniil Move P1 + 33.602s
8. Will Stevens Carlin + 39.995s
9. Giovanni Venturini BVM Target + 46.079s
10. Andre Negrao Draco + 46.623s
11. Mikhail Aleshin RFR + 47.346s
12. Carlos Huertas Fortec + 47.869s
13. Jules Bianchi Tech 1 + 51.700s
14. Anton Nebylitskiy RFR + 55.574s
15. Nikolay Martsenko BVM Target + 56.528s
16. Zoel Amberg Pons + 1m02.589s
17. Vittorio Ghirelli Comtec + 1m20.057s
18. Nick Yelloly Comtec + 1m39.983s
Walter Grubmuller P1 13 laps
Marco Sorensen Lotus 10 laps
Yann Cunha Pons 9 laps
Lewis Williamson Arden 1 lap
Jake Rosenzweig ISR 0 laps
Lucas Foresti DAMS 0 laps
Kevin Magnussen Carlin 0 laps
Nico Muller Draco 0 laps