Spa FR3.5: Rowland takes Race 2 pole

Oliver Rowland will start the second Formula Renault 3.5 race from pole position at Spa-Francorchamps after a sensational last-gasp effort in qualifying.

Rowland set the early pace on 2m01.033s, faster than Fortec teammate Jazeman Jaafar by 0.015s, but the session was interrupted when Philo Paz Armand crashed after nine minutes of the 30-minute session.

On the second runs, the times tumbled in the final five minutes. Pole switched between Dean Stoneman on 1m59.898s, then Tio Ellinas on 1m59.681, then Jaafar on 1m59.602s – with Rowland down in fourth.

McLaren junior Nyck de Vries lowered the pole time to 1m59.310s, before Ellinas snatched it back with 1m59.154s with less than a minute to go.

The destiny of pole would be decided as the cars passed by the chequered flag – and a late crash for Roy Nissany did affect the final lap, and stewards will look closely at who improved sector times in the yellow flag zones.

Ellinas didn’t improve on his last lap, but Rowland did with 1m59.092s – snatching top spot by 0.062s with a stonking middle sector.

De Vries didn’t improve but will start third, two-tenths off pole, with Jaafar setting the fastest first sector time on his final lap but a slow middle sector means he didn’t go faster when it mattered and will start fourth.

Yesterday’s winner Matthieu Vaxiviere could only manage fifth, three-tenths off pole, ahead of Stoneman and yesterday’s front row man Nicholas Latifi.

The star of Saturday qualifying, before she was excluded for a technical infringement, Beitske Visser will start 14th, 1.1s off the pace.

Pos Driver  Team   Time  Gap
Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 1m59.092  
Tio Ellinas Strakka Racing 1m59.154 0.062
Nyck de Vries DAMS 1m59.310 0.218
Jazeman Jaafar Fortec Motorsports 1m59.336 0.244
Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 1m59.426 0.334
Dean Stoneman DAMS 1m59.454 0.362
Nicholas Latifi Arden Motorsport 1m59.702 0.610
Tom Dillmann Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1m59.941 0.849
Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport 2m00.039 0.947
10  Pietro Fantin International Draco Racing 2m00.193 1.101
11  Gustav Malja Strakka Racing 2m00.196 1.104
12  Aurelien Panis Tech 1 Racing 2m00.219 1.127
13  Roy Nissany Tech 1 Racing 2m00.223 1.131
14  Beitske Visser AVF 2m00.270 1.178
15  Alfonso Celis AVF 2m00.732 1.640
16  Sean Gelael Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 2m00.753 1.661
17  Meindert van Buuren Lotus 2m00.757 1.665
18  Roberto Merhi Pons Racing 2m01.082 1.990
19  Bruno Bonifacio International Draco Racing 2m01.666 2.574


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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Event Spa-Francorchamps
Track Spa-Francorchamps
Drivers Tio Ellinas , Nyck de Vries , Oliver Rowland
Teams Fortec Motorsports
Article type Qualifying report