Slick Stevens capitalises on mistake to finish second in latest round of Formula Renault 3.5 Series
A sensational last lap pass secured Will Stevens second place in the opening race of two in the latest round of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series held at Motorland, Aragon in Spain.
Stevens, driving for the Besthorpe-based P1 by Strakka Racing team, had scythed through the field after starting the event from 11th place on the grid after a difficult qualifying session.
'Qualifying was a bit of a struggle for us as it was a wet but drying track,' said Stevens. 'The conditions made it quite difficult for us and we just didn't improve in those last few minutes when others did.
'We knew our race pace would be strong in the dry, which it was, and for the first part of the race I really just tried to manage my tyres and take it easy, knowing we could push later and make some progress once others started to struggle.'
Stevens' patience was rewarded as he steadily picked off the runners ahead of him until only race winner Kevin Magnussen and Arthur Pic, in second place, was ahead.
Under pressure Pic made a mistake and ruined his tyres which eventually led Stevens to close in and take his position away on the final lap.
'Having got into third, Pic flat-spotted his tyres, which enabled me to close the gap, and coming into the first corner he made another error and we got by,' reflected a gleeful Stevens.
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'It's a great result for myself and the team. We deserved good points from Monza and unfortunately it wasn't to be, but this is a great way to kick start our championship campaign.'
In what could only be described as a chaotic second qualifying session, Stevens managed to keep a cool head and line up in sixth place for the race which would be started behind the safety car due to the horrendously wet conditions.
As rivals encountered problems Stevens was promoted to fourth place which he defended to the finish from the attacks of Nico Muller.
Stevens' team-mate Matias Laine didn't have quite the same fortune in either race having been forced wide at the opening corner of race one, which dropped him towards the back of the field from where he recovered to finish in 16th place.
In race two Laine found his way blocked by a spinning car and again lost places before bringing his car home in 14th place.
Meanwhile the Carlton Rode-based Comtec team had similar misfortune, with Lucas Foresti finishing race one in 14th place while his team-mate Daniil Move was 21st. In race two Move turned the tables on his team-mate by finishing one place ahead of Foresti in 15th place.