WORLD WRAP: FR3.5, Euro F3 titles decided
Formula Renault 3.5
Fortec Motorsports driver Oliver Rowland sealed the Formula Renault 3.5 title by winning the opening race at Le Mans.
Rowland claimed the 30-lap race by 2.3s from Lotus driver Matthieu Vaxiviere, earning enough points to clinch the crown.
“I am happy to have won this title and I can’t thank Fortec Motorsports and the Racing Steps Foundation enough for all their help,” Rowland said.
“Congratulations also to Matthieu (second in the points). He pushed me all along the season and was always on my heels.”
The final heat was taken out by Arden Motorsport rookie Egor Orudzhev with Rowland eighth.
European Formula 3
Swede Felix Rosenqvist has secured the European Formula 3 title with three races to spare after a season of dominance continued with a sweep of three wins at the Nurburgring.
Rosenqvist’s victory in the final heat saw his season tally of triumphs move to 12 with 21 podium finishes and 16 pole positions.
The Prema Powerteam driver has reduced the final round at Hockenheim from October 16-18 to a dead rubber.
“Winning the FIA Formula 3 European Championship title has been my dream for years,” Rosenqvist said.
“Therefore, it is all the more beautiful that I have finally pulled it off. This is the most important success of my career to date.”
In the opening heat the the Eiffel circuit, Rosenqvist beat New Zealander Nick Cassidy by 6.4s before.
It was by far and away the best performance Cassidy has enjoyed in limited opportunities in the world’s leading F3 class with the Kiwi recording a sixth place finish in the middle heat before ending up less than 2s from the winner in third in the weekend’s final race.
British Touring Car Championship
Team BMR Volkswagen driver Colin Turkington has taken victory in the final British Touring Car Championship heat at Silverstone while Gordon Shedden extended his advantage in the standings.
Shedden strung together a trio of top five finishes to squeeze his lead out to 23 points over Jason Plato going into the finale at Brands Hatch from October 10-11.
Turkington said he wasn’t confident of standing on the top step going into the meeting however the team managed to turn around a set-up problem which has stymied the VWs in recent meetings.
“We’ve been struggling with the car a little and haven’t found the sweet spot at the last few meetings, so we decided to take a punt and it worked,” Turkington said.
“We made a true step forward there and I’m not ready to give up on this just yet.
“The goal here was to try and close the gap to the front guys and we can now go to Brands Hatch with a shot at the title, with confidence and hopefully with a fast car.”
Turkington moves to 293 points, 32 behind Shedden, while Plato is second on 302 points.
Mat Jackson (Motorbase Ford) took the first race after soaring to a second straight pole position while WSR BMW pilot Andy Priaulx won the middle heat.
World Touring Car Championship
Citroen has blitzed its rivals by securing pole and two race wins on the way to securing the World Touring Car Championship’s manufacturers’ title in Shanghai with five races to spare.
After topping qualifying, Jose Maria Lopez went on to score victory in the first heat.
Lopez lead home a Citroen trifecta with Yvan Muller second and Sebastien Loeb third.
Muller then went one better in the second race, beating Honda Civic driver Gabriele Tarquini with Lopez third and moving him a step closer to the drivers’ title.
Lopez, who topped the weekend, now moves to a 75-point lead.
The penultimate round of the championship will take place in Thailand from October 30-November 1.
Mercedes ace Pascal Wehrlein is within touching distance of claiming the DTM title after a solid performance at the Nurburgring round.
Wehrlein (HWA Mercedes) finished third in the opening race behind Maxime Martin who scored his breakthrough triumph of the season with Edoardo Mortara second.
The longer 43-lap closing race saw Miguel Molina (Abt Audi) record a decisive win over Paul di Resta (HWA Mercedes) with Bruno Spengler (MTEK BMW) third.
Wehrlein’s fifth place sees him move to 165 points. Mortara is on 128 with a maximum of 50 points up for grabs at the season finale at Hockenheim from October 16-18.
GT Asia Series
Craft-Bamboo driver Darryl O’Young has squeezed into the lead of the GT Asia Series after a clean sweep of wins at the Shanghai round.
O’Young goes into the the final round at Thailand’s 12-turn Buriram circuit next month with a four-point lead after he and team-mate Daniel Lloyd swept to twin wins in the 50-minute races.
The team’s #88 sister Aston Martin driven by Richard Lyons and Frank Yu had a difficult weekend finishing 10th and seventh after showing promising pace.
Lloyd, who came in to replace the injured Australian Jonathan Venter, started on pole position and was dominant from the start, creating a 2.9s gap by the end of the first lap.
“Daniel drove a fantastic stint to pull that gap. He had new tyres on and he pushed the limit and he opened enough of a gap so we could gain track position when I took over,” O’Young said.
“We must focus on Thailand now and concentrate on doing a good job to take the championship.”
Craft-Bamboo will arrive in Thailand seeing O’Young lead on 127 points from Bentley Team Absolute pair Adderley Fong and Keita Sawa (123) while BBT Ferrari’s Anthony Liu and Davide Rizzo are next on 111.