Carlos Huertas has secured Carlin’s first win of the 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 Series this afternoon after a dominant performance in Motorland, Spain. Following a safety car start Huertas took the lead once racing action commenced, leading the race comfortably to take victory by nearly 12 seconds. Team mate Jazeman Jaafar battled his way through the field and came home to finish in a solid 12th place.
Following a wet qualifying session this morning, the heavy rain continued throughout the day making track conditions treacherous for the second race of the weekend, which was consequently started behind the safety car. As a result, Huertas was unable to challenge for the lead off the line and stayed in second place behind pole sitter Norman Nato. When the safety car was called in at the end of lap four, Huertas stayed close to the leader who ran wide at the first corner giving Huertas the perfect opportunity to take the lead and give himself the clear run at the front he wanted.
Meanwhile Jaafar had also enjoyed a good restart and was up to 20th position from the back of the grid, after being unable to set a time in qualifying due to a spin. The FR3.5 rookie was coping well despite lack of vision caused by towering walls of spray the Formula Renault 3.5 cars were throwing into the air.
The Petronas backed driver fought well with both Daniil Move and with Yann Cunha notably on his way to securing 12th place in the shortened race; taking home a hard fought rookie podium in the process.
At the front Huertas was controlling the race and pulling out a large gap over second placed man Sergey Sirotkin. With the gap up to a dominant 12 seconds the Colombian driver held steady despite the poor visibility and slippery conditions – coming home to take a sensational win after a total of 14 racing laps.
Reflecting on his victory Huertas said, “It feels great to have got the win! It was so tough out there and when I saw Nato go off just after the safety car came in I knew I had a high chance for the win and went for it. I aqua-planed a couple of times during the race but I think that was inevitable given the really difficult conditions on track. I was really concentrating on staying on the road and not making a mistake throughout the race. Today really has been great for me and great for the team.”
Trevor Carlin added, “It’s been a difficult weekend for the team in many ways and we were very unhappy with our results yesterday. While there is still a lot of work to do, we’ve made a step forward today and Carlos drove fantastically all day to cope with the difficult conditions and make no mistakes. It’s unfortunate that Jazeman wasn’t able to show his pace as well, but he had a great drive through the field again to get on the rookie podium. This has been a good boost for the team and we’re looking forward to the next race.”