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Spa FR3.5: Carlos Sainz Jr leads Red Bull juniors front row

Carlos Sainz Jr led a Red Bull juniors lock-out of the front row for the opening Formula Renault 3.5 race of the weekend at Spa ahead of Pierre Gasly.

Championship leader Sainz, who led the way after the first runs of the session, removed Gasly from top spot with around a minute to go, having been the last car to rejoin the track for a second run.

While the Spaniard could not improve on his final lap - going 0.2 seconds slower - he held onto pole as several of his closest challengers also failed to set a better time as the chequered flag came out.

That left Gasly unchallenged for the second spot on the front row too, while Sauber Formula 1 junior Sergey Sirotkin was able to go faster at the end and took third spot.

The second row was completed by GP3 racer Richie Stanaway, who returns to FR3.5 this weekend in place of the injured Matthieu Vaxiviere, two years on from an accident at this circuit that threatened to end his career.

Roberto Merhi, Pietro Fantin, Matias Laine, Zoel Amberg and Marlon Stockinger all got the most out of their final runs to get into the top 10, while some of the more-fancied runners fell back after looking strong during the first runs.

Oliver Rowland and Norman Nato had been in contention at the front with Sainz and Sirotkin as Fortec and DAMS took control of the first half of the session, but while their team-mates remained a factor in the fight for pole, Rowland slipped to 10th and Monaco winner Nato to 12th.

Monaco podium finishers Marco Sorensen and Jazeman Jaafar - both racing without team-mates this season for Lotus and ISR respectively - had to settle for the seventh row of the grid, just ahead of Monza race winner Will Stevens in 15th.

Follow the first Spa-Francorchamps FR3.5 race as it happens on AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live from approximately 2:15pm UK time on Saturday

Pos Driver               Team          Time      Gap    
 1. Carlos Sainz Jr      DAMS         1m58.681s         
 2. Pierre Gasly         Arden        1m58.802s  +0.121s
 3. Sergey Sirotkin      Fortec       1m58.818s  +0.137s
 4. Richie Stanaway      Lotus        1m58.855s  +0.174s
 5. Roberto Merhi        Zeta Corse   1m59.298s  +0.617s
 6. Pietro Fantin        Draco        1m58.993s  +0.312s
 7. Matias Laine         Strakka      1m58.944s  +0.263s
 8. Zoel Amberg          AVF          1m59.015s  +0.334s
 9. Marlon Stockinger    Lotus        1m59.150s  +0.469s
10. Oliver Rowland       Fortec       1m59.151s  +0.470s
11. Luca Ghiotto         Draco        1m59.206s  +0.525s
12. Norman Nato          DAMS         1m59.221s  +0.540s
13. Marco Sorensen       Tech 1       1m59.229s  +0.548s
14. Jazeman Jaafar       ISR          1m59.260s  +0.579s
15. Will Stevens         Strakka      1m59.388s  +0.707s
16. Will Buller          Arden        1m59.477s  +0.796s
17. Meindert van Buuren  Pons Racing  1m59.610s  +0.929s
18. Beitske Visser       AVF          1m59.692s  +1.011s
19. Oscar Tunjo          Pons Racing  1m59.965s  +1.284s
20. Roman Mavlanov       Zeta Corse   2m01.118s  +2.437s
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