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World Series by Renault: Spa-Francorchamps

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted May 5, 2010 at 11:10 am World Series by Renault

World Series by Renault
(photo-Renault-Sport)

The Formula Renault 3.5 drivers completed Rounds 3 & 4 of the 2010 World Series by Renault championship this past weekend in Belgium at Spa.  Both races were riddled with penalties.

Despite battling a flu-bug, Russian driver Mikhail Aleshin won pole position in Round 3 qualifying.  Aleshin went on to win the race by just over six seconds ahead of Sten PentusStefano Coletti finished third in his first time back to Spa since his massive crash in GP2 last season.  He suffered a fractured sternum in the incident, which occurred last August.

The hard charger in Round 3 was Greg Mansell.  Mansell drove from 16th on the grid to finish 5th, improving 11 positions in 22-laps, albeit with some help from race officials.  Jon Lancaster originally came home fifth, however he passed Jan Charouz by cutting the final chicane.  Realizing his wrong, he allowed Charouz to retake the position.  Stewards originally decided that giving up the position was good enough, however a protest by Greg Mansell changed the ruling.  Lancaster was given a 10-second penalty at the finish – relegating him to 9th in the final tally.  In a separate incident, Anton Nebylitskiy was penalized 10-seconds for contact with Nathanael Berthon, dropping him to 10th overall.  He was originally classified as finishing 6th, just ahead of Mansell.

In Round 4, American Jake Rosenzweig put his Carlin entry on pole position in wet conditions.  It was his first career pole position in the car ranks.  Rosenzweig did more than qualify on pole though, he dominated the field by lapping a full 1.382 seconds faster than his nearest competitor.  The 21-year-old American is hoping for a break-through year in Formula Renault 3.5 competition and it looks like he is well on his way to doing just that.

Sunday’s race was won by Esteban Guerrieri – who simultaneously won the hard charger award in the race by driving from 12th on the grid to win.  Guerrieri improved 11 positions in 17-laps.  It’s only fair to note that several drivers received drive-through penalties during the race aiding Guerrieri’s come-from-behind-win.  Regardless, it was a solid performance in less than ideal conditions.  Daniel Zampieri and Stefano Coletti finished second and third, respectively.

Honorable mention should go to Omar Julian Leal who suffered a big crash in qualifying and returned to the grid finishing 12th after starting 23rd.  Leal improved 11 positions during the 17-lap event.

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