Aragon Formula Renault 3.5: McLaren junior Nyck de Vries takes pole

McLaren protege Nyck de Vries mastered improving track conditions at Motorland Aragon to take pole position on his maiden Formula Renault 3.5 weekend

Aragon Formula Renault 3.5: McLaren junior Nyck de Vries takes pole

The top four were covered by just 0.081 seconds in a thrilling climax to qualifying for Sunday afternoon's race.

Last year's Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup champion, de Vries will line-up ahead of Saturday pole-sitter Matthieu Vaxiviere.

Saturday winner Oliver Rowland and Jazeman Jaafar make it an all-Fortec second row, while third-year driver Pietro Fantin continued his productive start to the season in fifth.

A wet track was declared at the start of qualifying, although rain had ceased.

In the preceding Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup session, drivers had commented that, despite the presence of some damp patches, slick tyres were working effectively for their last couple of laps.

Roberto Merhi was first to take to the track, throwing up only sporadic hazes of spray. The Spaniard rescued a small sideways moment on his first quick lap, indicating conditions remained tricky.

Traction exiting the Turn 6 hairpin appeared challenging, but laptimes improved rapidly.

All drivers utilised high-downforce settings, after Saturday's mandatory low-downforce trim.

The midway point marked the conclusion of everyone's first runs, and Mexican rookie Alfonso Celis Jr held provisional pole for AVF on 1m42.905s.

Fortec's Jaafar was second, ahead of a top-six comprising of Vaxiviere, Rowland, Tom Dillmann and Fantin. Eventual pole-man de Vries was 11th in his DAMS entry.

Celis remained at the top of the timing screens for 10 minutes, until a final burst of activity.

De Vries initially went quickest with three minutes left on the clocks, and exchanged fastest times with Rowland and Dillman.

The Dutch driver's final effort secured pole as the chequered flag appeared, and Lotus F1 junior Vaxiviere demoted Rowland on a well-timed last lap.

QUALIFYING TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 Nyck de Vries DAMS 1m41.609s -
2 Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 1m41.633s 0.024s
3 Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 1m41.689s 0.080s
4 Jazeman Jaafar Fortec Motorsports 1m41.690s 0.081s
5 Pietro Fantin International Draco Racing 1m41.847s 0.238s
6 Tom Dillmann Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1m41.868s 0.259s
7 Dean Stoneman DAMS 1m41.882s 0.273s
8 Nicholas Latifi Arden Motorsport 1m41.898s 0.289s
9 Tio Ellinas Strakka Racing 1m41.937s 0.328s
10 Alfonso Celis AVF 1m41.963s 0.354s
11 Beitske Visser AVF 1m42.085s 0.476s
12 Gustav Malja Strakka Racing 1m42.313s 0.704s
13 Meindert van Buuren Lotus 1m42.337s 0.728s
14 Sean Gelael Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1m42.360s 0.751s
15 Bruno Bonifacio International Draco Racing 1m42.414s 0.805s
16 Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport 1m42.515s 0.906s
17 Roy Nissany Tech 1 Racing 1m42.675s 1.066s
18 Roberto Merhi Pons Racing 1m42.857s 1.248s
19 Aurelien Panis Tech 1 Racing 1m43.027s 1.418s
20 Philo Paz Armand Pons Racing 1m43.125s 1.516s


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Aragon Formula Renault 3.5: Oliver Rowland leads Fortec one-two

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