Aragon Formula Renault 3.5: Lotus's Vaxiviere takes race one pole

Lotus Formula 1 Junior driver Matthieu Vaxiviere claimed the first pole position of the 2015 Formula Renault 3.5 season at Aragon, underlining that his outstanding pre-season testing pace was representative

Aragon Formula Renault 3.5: Lotus's Vaxiviere takes race one pole

The Frenchman moved ahead of Swedish rookie Gustav Malja by just 0.025 seconds, thanks to a final lap effort of 1m41.446s as the chequered flag was shown.

Fortec's Oliver Rowland secured third on the grid for Saturday afternoon's opening race.

The Racing Steps-backed Briton will line up ahead of Vaxiviere's Charouz-Lotus team-mate Meindert van Buuren, who delivered one of the most impressive qualifying performances of his career.

At the midway point of the half-hour session Jazeman Jaafar led the timing screens on his debut outing for Fortec, thanks to a time of 1m42.008s.

Although the Malaysian found four tenths on his final run, Jaafar slipped back to an eventual fifth, ahead of single-seater veteran Tom Dillmann - who is charged with leading Carlin's return to the series.

Dillmann is under investigation for breaching track limits.

Reigning FR3.5 champion and Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver Carlos Sainz Jr was on the DAMS pitwall to support team-manager Francois Sicard and his former squad at the start of the session.

The French outfit appeared mildly concerned when its Red Bull-backed driver Dean Stoneman suffered a minor trip across the grass on cold tyres.

Stoneman recovered and briefly held first place, but will start from seventh on the grid for his maiden outing in the series.

NEWS UPDATE: Malja loses front row start

QUALIFYING TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 1m41.446s -
2 Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 1m41.628s 0.182s
3 Meindert van Buuren Lotus 1m41.674s 0.228s
4 Jazeman Jaafar Fortec Motorsports 1m41.692s 0.246s
5 Tom Dillmann Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1m41.709s 0.263s
6 Dean Stoneman DAMS 1m41.757s 0.311s
7 Tio Ellinas Strakka Racing 1m41.844s 0.398s
8 Nicholas Latifi Arden Motorsport 1m41.921s 0.475s
9 Nyck de Vries DAMS 1m42.041s 0.595s
10 Pietro Fantin International Draco Racing 1m42.149s 0.703s
11 Beitske Visser AVF 1m42.270s 0.824s
12 Roberto Merhi Pons Racing 1m42.471s 1.025s
13 Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport 1m42.529s 1.083s
14 Sean Gelael Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1m42.624s 1.178s
15 Alfonso Celis AVF 1m42.678s 1.232s
16 Roy Nissany Tech 1 Racing 1m42.678s 1.232s
17 Bruno Bonifacio International Draco Racing 1m42.895s 1.449s
18 Philo Paz Armand Pons Racing 1m42.965s 1.519s
19 Aurelien Panis Tech 1 Racing 1m43.090s 1.644s
- Gustav Malja Strakka Racing - -


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Aragon Formula Renault 3.5: Lotus's Vaxiviere tops Friday practice

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