Robert Wickens produced a superb overtaking move on championship leader Jean-Eric Vergne to take victory in the opening race of the penultimate round of 2011 AF1RL season.
The Canadian, who will drive for HorizonF1 in FF1M next season, made full use of his one-lap younger tyres to get into position to slipstream past Vergne on the Mistral straight.
Wickens team mate Pastor Maldonado initially led the race after a superb start from third on the grid but was passed by pole-sitter Vergne on the longest straight of the season. Maldonado had the pace to stay with the Frenchman but was unable to pass and made an early stop hoping for an undercut but found himself stuck behind the Ajay Motorsports of Kevin Korjus and the Venezuelan was forced to watch as first Vergne and then Wickens emerged from their pit stops ahead.
Whilst Maldonado made an early stop, the opposite was true of Vergne’s title rival Jaime Alguersuari who stayed out late and then used his fresh tyres to produce a series of fast laps towards the end of the race, catching Vergne on the final lap but unable to make a pass.
The result means that Vergne extends his championship lead to 18 points over Alguersuari going into tomorrow’s race whilst Wicken’s victory means that Carlin TornadoF1 have a 28 point lead over ART Andy Racing in the Teams Championship.