Marlon Stockinger dominates practice at Castellet

On the Circuit Paul Ricard, the Philippine native clocked the best time on Friday.

Lotus F1 Junior Team protégé, Marlon Stockinger (Lotus) dominated both collective tests for the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. On the Circuit Paul Ricard, the Philippine native clocked the best time on Friday with a lap of 1:48.523, ahead of Matias Laine (Strakka Racing) and Jazeman Jaafar (ISR). During the morning session, he got the better of team mate Matthieu Vaxiviere (Lotus) and Oliver Rowland (Fortec Motorsports).

The 22 competitors in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series headed on to the track in ideal conditions. While Meindert van Buuren (Pons Racing) was the first driver to set a time, the lead change regularly before Matthieu Vaxiviere then Norman Nato (DAMS) monopolized the classification.

Tomorrow and Sunday are what really count but this is the best way setting up good results this weekend.

Marlon Stockinger

In the final 15 minutes, Sergey Sirotkin (Fortec Motorsports) was the first to go under the 1:30 barrier. However, it was Marlon Stockinger, who in the waning moments, went quickest with a lap of 1:48.905. The Lotus F1 Junior Team driver led from team mate Matthieu Vaxiviere and Oliver Rowland. Marco Sørensen (Tech 1 Racing) and William Buller (Arden Motorsports) followed the leading trio.

In the afternoon, following the start of the sesion where the best time was regularly lowered, Jazeman Jaafar led briefly before being dislodged by Roberto Merhi (Zeta Corse) and Will Stevens (Strakka Racing). The member of the Caterham Racing Academy then saw his time beaten by Marlon Stockinger.

With five minutes to go, Sergey Sirotkin then Oliver Rowland led the way thanks to new tyres. Jazeman Jaafar and Matias Laine did the same, but Marlon Stockinger put in the fastest lap with a time of 1:48.523 on his final run. The Lotus driver led from Matias Laine, Jazeman Jaafar and Oliver Rowland when the chequered flag was waved. Budapest race winner, Norman Nato rounded out the top five.

Quotes

Marlon Stockinger: ”Everything went smooth, nice, clean sweep and problem-free! It’d be good to continue this momentum tomorrow. The boys were really good, the car they’ve given me was a good baseline. We just have to focus on what we’re doing. Tomorrow and Sunday are what really count but this is the best way setting up good results this weekend. Putting a lap in tomorrow should be enough for the front row!”

Matias Laine: ”I was pretty pleased with my pace on new tyres. This year, we have struggled to find speed with the new tyres, but it looks like we have found it. The race pace is thus promising and I am confident going into tomorrow. It is up to me to put it all together in qualifying!”

Jazeman Jaafar: ”It was tricky this morning, the track seemed very low on grip. I think everyone had the same problems as we did. We made a good step forward during the second session, a lot better with new tyres as used. I am pretty happy with how Friday went. A short stint in qualifying during which I have to get the most out of the tyres in a short period of time will be the key tomorrow!”

WSR

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Event Paul Ricard
Sub-event Friday practice
Track Circuit Paul Ricard
Drivers Jazeman Jaafar , Will Stevens , Marlon Stockinger , Roberto Merhi , Marco Sorensen , Matias Laine , Matthieu Vaxiviere , Sergey Sirotkin , Norman Nato , Oliver Rowland , Meindert van Buuren
Teams Strakka Racing , DAMS , Lotus F1 Team
Article type Practice report
Tags formula renault 3.5, fortec motorsports, isr, lotus, strakka racing