Marco Sorenson won an action-packed first Formula Renault 3.5 race of the weekend at Spa.
The Lotus driver capitalized on a scrap for the lead between Kevin Magnussen (Carlin) and Sam Bird (ISR) getting out of hand to make the decisive move, and then controlled the race from there. Sorenson ran third in the early stages, staying on the tail of Bird as he tried to find a way past polesitter Magnussen.
Magnussen appeared to have Bird under control, but at the end of the first lap after a mid-race safety car Bird was able to get alongside on the approach to the Bus Stop chicane.
Both drivers cut the chicane, with Bird emerging in the lead. He slowed to let Magnussen re-pass, but the Carlin driver had clouted a curb and was slow down the start finish straight. An opportunistic move from Sorenson allowed him to pass both of the leaders into La Source, and from there he was never headed.
Bird tried to pass Magnussen on the inside at the Bus Stop a lap later, and while he completed the pass, both he and Magnussen went wide, and this time it was Jules Bianchi (Tech 1) and Robin Frijns (Fortec) who capitalized to sneak into second and third.
Frijns could not hold Bird off at La Source though, and after surrendering third place to the ISR driver the Dutchman then plummeted down the order as car after car caught him out as he rejoined from going wide at the first corner.
That left Sorenson leading Bianchi and Bird, which would remain the order to the finish. But fourth-placed Magnussen's drama was not over, as three laps from the end he was hit up the back by DAMS' Arthur Pic at La Source, forcing him to retire.
Pic fell to 15th, leaving former champion Mikhail Aleshin fourth for RFR after Frijns had been shuffled back another three places shortly before that.
Aleshin had to fight hard to keep Draco's Nico Muller at bay to the finish, while Frijns came across the line seventh, behind Jake Rosenzweig (ISR).
There was more drama further down the field on the final lap, with Daniil Move the big loser in a messy final corner. The Russian had been on course for a top 10 finish for P1, but he ended up 14th in the melee.
Results - 21 laps:
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1. Marco Sorensen Lotus 46m10.968s
2. Jules Bianchi Tech 1 + 2.081s
3. Sam Bird ISR + 4.639s
4. Mikhail Aleshin RFR + 14.966s
5. Nico Muller Draco + 15.375s
6. Jake Rosenzweig ISR + 22.451s
7. Robin Frijns Fortec + 25.361s
8. Walter Grubmuller P1 + 28.324s
9. Nick Yelloly Comtec + 28.923s
10. Nikolay Martsenko BVM Target + 29.238s
11. Alexander Rossi Arden + 30.121s
12. Andre Negrao Draco + 30.527s
13. Will Stevens Carlin + 30.973s
14. Daniil Move P1 + 31.704s
15. Arthur Pic DAMS + 31.822s
16. Giovanni Venturini BVM Target + 33.860s
17. Yann Cunha Pons + 47.383s
18. Zoel Amberg Pons + 1m10.076s
19. Lewis Williamson Arden + 1m51.553s
Vittorio Ghirelli Comtec 20 laps
Kevin Magnussen Carlin 18 laps
Richie Stanaway Lotus 13 laps
Lucas Foresti DAMS 7 laps
Carlos Huertas Fortec 5 laps
Kevin Korjus Tech 1 0 laps
Anton Nebylitskiy RFR 0 laps