“Stanaway makes FR3.5 Return”

Stanaway will race at Spa. © Malcolm Griffiths/GP2 Series Media Service.
Stanaway will race at Spa. © Malcolm Griffiths/GP2 Series Media Service.

New Zealand’s Richie Stanaway is to make a last minute return to the Formula Renault 3.5 Series this weekend with Lotus.

The 22-year-old is to step back in with his former team at Spa-Francorchamps as a replacement for the injured Matthieu Vaxivière.

Vaxivière fractured a vertebra in a crash during the opening lap of the FR3.5 race at Monaco on Sunday. It is believed he will be sidelined for at least six weeks.

See also:
“Time out for Vaxivière”

Following a season in endurance racing with Aston Martin’s GTE-Pro squad, Stanaway made a successful return to single-seater racing this year in GP3 with Status Grand Prix, scoring a 3rd and 4th place at the opening round in Barcelona.

With the GP3 Series one-third way through a six-week gap in the schedule, Stanaway was cleared to rejoin the Lotus team for this weekend.
It marks an interesting return to the Belgian circuit for Stanaway, whose last appearance in a FR3.5 machine at Spa-Francorchamps saw him involved in an accident during which his back broken.

Meanwhile, Vaxivière will also miss the following FR3.5 round at Moscow Raceway (June 27-29); however it is possible that he may be cleared to drive for the July 11-13 visit to the Nürburgring.
The French teenager has also been forced to withdraw from the Le Mans 24 Hour Race, which takes place in just a few weeks.

Also in FR3.5, Óscar Tunjo’s début comes this weekend, when the Colombian steps in for Oliver Webb, who is sliding over to endurance racing for the rest of the season.

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