Team Lotus junior driver Alexander Rossi enjoyed a strong start to the new World Series by Renault campaign, taking a win in the opening race before finishing runner-up in the second run at the Motorland Aragon Circuit.

With pre-season title favourite Daniel Ricciardo missing the event to run free practice for Toro Rosso this weekend Rossi has stolen a crucial march in the standings, the American taking 43 points from a possible fifty over the two races.

Victory in the first race was something of a gift, as polesitter Robert Wickens locked up in to turn one, despite making a good getaway. Russian Danil Move assumed the lead but Rossi was soon able to pass him and cruise to victory.

Photo: www.alexanderrossi.com

Reigning British F3 champion Jean-Eric Vergne fought his way throiugh the field to take sixth, despite missing the pre-race practice sessions to work in Red Bull’s simulator at their Milton Keynes base. The Frenchman jumped straight in the car for qualifying.

Race two saw the seriously impressive Kevin Korjus take victory on his debut weekend in the series, grabbing the lead from second on the grid and holding off Rossi in the latter stages. At just 18-years and three months Korjus is the youngest race winner in the series’ history. Third place went to Spaniard Albert Costa, with poleman Cesar Ramos and Wickens completing the top five.

Rossi’s stellar weekend means he travels to round two at Spa with a 15 point advantage over Wickens. Ricciardo is expected to be very much in the mix there, but the American’s performance this weekend suggests the Toro Rosso man won’t have an easy time in scoring top points.