Vaxiviere snatches FR3.5 pole at Spa

Matthieu Vaxiviere will start from pole position in today’s first race in the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship round at Spa-Francorchamps.

The Lotus driver topped a thrilling qualifying session around the Belgian Grand Prix venue, although it was Oliver Rowland who was the first to dip under the two-minute barrier with a lap of 1m59.400s.

Vaxiviere usurped him with 1m59.296s, then followed it up with a fractionally slower 1m59.350s.

After a red flag caused by Egor Orudzhev, the session was compressed into a shootout in the closing moments.

Jazeman Jaafar moved up to third with a lap just 0.001s off Fortec teammate Rowland, with Nyck de Vries jumping to second, 0.016s off the pole time at that moment.

But Vaxiviere had more in the tank, lowering the P1 time to 1m58.768s, just after Jaafar had eclipsed his previous pole time with 1m59.001s.

But then last-gasp improvements from Beitske Visser and Nicholas Latifi rocketed them to second and third respectively, ahead of Jafaar and Rowland.

De Vries will start sixth, ahead of Tio Ellinas, Dean Stoneman and Manor F1 racer Roberto Merhi.

Pos Driver  Entrant   Time  Gap
Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 1m58.768  
Beitske Visser AVF 1m58.893 0.125
Nicholas Latifi Arden Motorsport 1m58.987 0.219
Jazeman Jaafar Fortec Motorsports 1m59.001 0.233
Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 1m59.111 0.343
Nyck de Vries DAMS 1m59.312 0.544
Tio Ellinas Strakka Racing 1m59.325 0.557
Dean Stoneman DAMS 1m59.481 0.713
Roberto Merhi Pons Racing 1m59.560 0.792
10  Meindert van Buuren Lotus 1m59.632 0.864
11  Gustav Malja Strakka Racing 1m59.648 0.880
12  Aurelien Panis Tech 1 Racing 1m59.690 0.922
13  Pietro Fantin International Draco Racing 1m59.960 1.192
14  Alfonso Celis AVF 2m00.000 1.232
15  Bruno Bonifacio International Draco Racing 2m00.330 1.562
16  Tom Dillmann Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 2m00.368 1.600
17  Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport 2m00.558 1.790
18  Philo Paz Armand Pons Racing 2m00.662 1.894
19  Sean Gelael Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 2m01.010 2.242
20  Roy Nissany Tech 1 Racing 2m01.558 2.790

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Event Spa-Francorchamps
Track Spa-Francorchamps
Drivers Matthieu Vaxivière
Article type Qualifying report