FR3.5 Le Mans: Tom Dillmann fastest in free practice on home soil

Tom Dillmann emerged quickest from Formula Renault 3.5 free practie on Friday ahead of this weekend's penultimate round of the series at Le Mans

FR3.5 Le Mans: Tom Dillmann fastest in free practice on home soil

The Frenchman's time of 1m22.321s was recorded with a minute to spare in the second 50-minute session in the afternoon.

Carlin racer Dillmann, who is seeking a maiden win in the series, edged out Arden's Egor Orudzhev by 0.310s while Red Bull junior racer Dean Stoneman took third.

Only the top trio from the afternoon session succeeded in eclipsing championship leader Oliver Rowland's fastest time from the morning of 1m22.791s.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed Fortec driver produced the benchmark FP1 effort on his final lap, to lead title adversary Matthieu Vaxiviere by 0.777s.

Track limit violations, an occasional source of contention on FR3.5's previous visits to the Le Mans Bugatti track, again appeared an issue during practice, and several drivers had times deleted.

Rowland was among many to fall foul of the strict track limit rules, and he suggested cones or bollards could have assisted in reducing the number of transgressions.

"The track limits here are difficult," said Rowland. "It would have been much better if they'd kept the cones out [from Thursday's track walk], but apparently the circuit isn't homologated for FR3.5 to race with them."

Fresh from his second victory of the season at the Nurburgring a fortnight ago, Tio Ellinas ended FP1 a close third, just 0.128s behind Vaxiviere.

DAMS racer Stoneman was fourth, ahead of a competitive showing by series returnee Andre Negrao in the lone Draco entry.

AVF driver Beistke Visser ended a closely contested morning session in a strong sixth, and a tenth up on this season's respective Hungaroring and Monaco winners, Orudzhev and Jazeman Jaafar.

ART Grand Prix GP3 driver Alfonso Celis caused the only stoppage of the morning when his AVF machine came to rest with an alternator problem at Turn 10 after just six minutes.

The second session was red-flagged twice after incidents for Jazeman Jaafar and Auto GP refugee Nikita Zlobin.

FREE PRACTICE 1

Pos Driver Team Gap Laps
1 Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 1m22.791s 23
2 Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 0.777s 19
3 Tio Ellinas Strakka Racing 0.905s 24
4 Dean Stoneman DAMS 0.912s 24
5 Andre Negrao International Draco Racing 0.950s 23
6 Beitske Visser AVF 1.024s 20
7 Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport 1.094s 24
8 Jazeman Jaafar Fortec Motorsports 1.201s 24
9 Nicholas Latifi Arden Motorsport 1.263s 22
10 Tom Dillmann Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1.309s 21
11 Nyck de Vries DAMS 1.501s 23
12 Gustav Malja Strakka Racing 1.548s 25
13 Sean Gelael Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1.955s 24
14 Roy Nissany Tech 1 Racing 2.055s 22
15 Marlon Stockinger Lotus 2.059s 25
16 Yu Kanamaru Pons Racing 2.186s 18
17 Aurelien Panis Tech 1 Racing 2.334s 22
18 Alfonso Celis AVF 2.608s 10
19 Nikita Zlobin Pons Racing 4.460s 17

FREE PRACTICE 2

Pos Driver Team Gap Laps
1 Tom Dillmann Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1m22.321s 21
2 Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport 0.310s 24
3 Dean Stoneman DAMS 0.430s 24
4 Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 0.526s 21
5 Tio Ellinas Strakka Racing 0.593s 22
6 Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 0.686s 25
7 Nyck de Vries DAMS 0.873s 22
8 Andre Negrao International Draco Racing 0.881s 22
9 Sean Gelael Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 0.920s 22
10 Beitske Visser AVF 0.935s 24
11 Jazeman Jaafar Fortec Motorsports 1.009s 21
12 Aurelien Panis Tech 1 Racing 1.075s 21
13 Gustav Malja Strakka Racing 1.128s 22
14 Nicholas Latifi Arden Motorsport 1.139s 20
15 Roy Nissany Tech 1 Racing 1.175s 20
16 Alfonso Celis AVF 1.248s 23
17 Marlon Stockinger Lotus 1.328s 20
18 Yu Kanamaru Pons Racing 1.666s 21
19 Nikita Zlobin Pons Racing 2.203s 20


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