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June 03, 2012
Renault 3.5: Sorensen Wins battle of the Danes at Spa

Marco Sorenson emerged from race one of the Renault 3.5 doubleheader at Spa-Francorchamps with the win (Photo: Renault)
Marco Sorenson emerged from race one of the Renault 3.5 doubleheader at Spa-Francorchamps with the win
(Photo: Renault)

After starting on the pole position and making a strong start to the race, Kevin Magnussen (Carlin) seemed well on course for his first win in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series on Saturday (June 2). The race did not quite pan out that way, however, and it was another Danish driver, Marco Sorensen, who took the Round Four victory at the Circuit Spa-Francorchamps, ahead of Jules Bianchi (Tech 1 Racing) and Sam Bird (ISR). On a track where he has often enjoyed success, Sorensen gave his team their very first win in the discipline.

With a perfect lap in qualifying, Magnussen claimed his first pole position in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. The McLaren Driver Development Programme man lined up at the front of the grid alongside Bird, with Sorensen and Bianchi making up the second row. For this race, the drivers were given 800 seconds of DRS usage. Magnussen made the best start to the race, but he immediately found himself fending off attacks from Bird. Bianchi, third, made a mistake with his braking at Fagnes corner, allowing Sorensen and Frijns (Fortec Motorsports) to pass.

The front five of Magnussen, Bird, Sorensen, Frijns, and Bianchi then began to pull away from the rest. At the front of the chasing pack, Carlos Huertas (Fortec Motorsports) found himself trying to hold off the challenge of American Jake Rosenzweig (ISR) and Arthur Pic (Dams). Pic took advantage of a mistake by Rosenzweig and moved up into seventh position. Later, it was Huertas’s turn to take an unwanted detour off the track, with Pic moving up to sixth as a result. Overtaking was rife in the middle of the field. Nico Müller (International Draco Racing) moved into ninth place after getting the better of Daniil Move (P1 Motorsport) and American Alexander Rossi (Arden Caterham). The safety car then made an appearance while Lucas Foresti’s (Dams) car was removed from the track.

At the restart, the five front runners remained wheel-to-wheel and pulled away from the pack once again. Bird then launched an attack on Magnussen at the Bus Stop chicane. The pair went too wide, however, Sorensen seized the opportunity to move into the lead. The Lotus driver took control of the race ahead of Magnussen and Bird. The following lap, on the same part of the track, Bianchi surprised everyone by climbing from fifth into second. Frijns, who had been third, then took his turn to go off the track.

A few laps from the end, Sorensen led the race from Bianchi, Bird, Magnussen, Pic, Mikhail Aleshin (Team RFR) and Nico Müller. Magnussen and Pic then added to the list of race incidents by coming together at La Source hairpin, handing fourth place to Mikhail Aleshin. Sorensen pulled away at the end of the race and held on for his first victory in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. Bianchi finished second, and Bird third, a result that suits both men well in terms of the championship. It allows Bird to maintain his lead at the top, while Bianchi now moves up to fourth place in the standings. Rosenzweig crossed the stripe in sixth, while Rossi was 11th.

"I took advantage of the battle between Kevin Magnussen and Sam Bird to take the lead" commented Sorenson. "I came up behind two cars that had slowed after cutting the chicane, and I had no other choice but to pass and avoid them. It’s an important victory for me and for the team, who are realising the potential shown since the beginning.”

The Formula Renault 3.5 Series title chase continues at the Circuit Spa-Francorchamps in Sunday (June 3) with Round Five.

The top-three, along with how the North American racers did, will be posted following every session on the EFCN Facebook page, and EFCN Twitter page.

Full Formula Renault 3.5 Series Race results available HERE
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