Another unpredictable race yielded yet another different winner this 2017 season, as series rookie Otso Toivonen delivered his first win in the FV2 series.
Despite the rain, drivers were buzzing at the fact that this was the driest they'd seen the circuit since Friday Night. In the meantime thunder was roaring form the Belgian clouds as the track was still sodden., with rain on and off overnight and clearing as the race would proceed.
If only it had stopped earlier though for Luuk van der Straten, who surrended his pole position at the start to Andrey Kerzhakov and Otso Toivonen, whilst Dimitrov also lost 2 places off the start from position 3. Toivonen who started 5th had made a brilliant start to get to second straight off the line.
Hunter Ryan's miserable weekend came to an abrupt end as rain water had leaked into his car and blew his engine exiting La Source. Later in the lap he was joined on the sidelines by Oleksandr Zozulya, who after a spectacular drive yesterday, provided a spectacular spin as he ran over the puddles exiting Pouhon and throwing out his chances of another strong wet weather performance.
Yesterday's race winner Viktor Ostberg showed he was still in full flight following his win from P16 on the grid. Having started P13 today, he was already up to 6th at the end of the opening lap, but with a few seconds gap to the cars ahead after a slight collision with Steven Kasami at Blanchimont 1.
Toivonen's great start was further enhanced when he overtook Kerzhakov at La Source, however after the corner it was clear he was struggling. Kerzhakov was still able to continue but it was well known he had a power issue.
Another driver who wished they had a few extra horse power was Zhivko Dimitrov. We has going further and further backwards as the race went on. By the halfway stage of the race he was already down to 11th and with little glee in his efforts up to that stage.
During that time, Rodolfo de la Fuente was the driver carving his way toward the front, excluding Otso Toivonen who was getting further and further ahead of the struggling Kerzhakov. By overtaking a lazy 6 cars, 3 of those in 1 lap, the Spaniard was suddenly cruising around in 3rd position, behind the defiant Kerzhakov.
With Viktor Ostberg setting his second fastest lap in as many days, the pecking order at half distance read as follows:
It had gotten to the point where Kerzhakov's engine had well and truly expired on him, and as he parked up in the garage, Lucio Valente's gearbox expired as well at the Curbe Paul Frere. All of a sudden, Aleksandr hadzic was also called to the lane on the same lap, as all 3 drivers (un)spectacularly retired almost in complete tandem!
De la Fuente wasn't able to overtake Kerzhakov before he had to pull out, and it allowed the rain-meister in Ostberg to close right in. It didn't become a difficult task for the Swede as he went around the outside of Eau Rouge in style in the rain. His Spanish rival clapping after the exited Raidillon for as he conceded 2nd place.
As the tricky conditions were hanging around, the title contender started to come to the fore. Despite the Top 7 all starting the race being rookies, it had gotten to the point with 2 laps to that Otso Toivionen was one of the 2 remaining. The other being Steven Kasami in 6th, before that got taken away after he ran wide at the Rivage corner to Alexander McLaughlin.
Ikram Aliyev was the only driver in those last 2 laps to put on a show as the rain finally stopped for good, and as the clouds cleared it was clear to see he was having the most fun, getting within 2 one hundredths of the fastest lap, and annihilating the train that was headed by Brittany Johnson. The Azeri picked up 5 positions in those last 2 laps alone.
But a driver who he was nowhere near capable of passing was Otso Toivonen as he crossed the line in the sudden sunshine to win the Sprint Race in Belgium! Viktor Ostberg ended 2 seconds behind after setting another fastest lap in his bid to try win another race, whilst de la Fuente comfortably held 3rd ahead of Perez and Vasquez. Full results below: