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.
|3||Nicholas Latifi||Arden Motorsport||1m58.987||0.219|
|4||Jazeman Jaafar||Fortec Motorsports||1m59.001||0.233|
|5||Oliver Rowland||Fortec Motorsports||1m59.111||0.343|
|6||Nyck de Vries||DAMS||1m59.312||0.544|
|7||Tio Ellinas||Strakka Racing||1m59.325||0.557|
|9||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|
|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|