FR3.5 Silverstone: Tio Ellinas takes maiden pole position

Strakka Racing's Tio Ellinas achieved his maiden Formula Renault 3.5 pole position at Silverstone for Saturday afternoon's opening race of the weekend

FR3.5 Silverstone: Tio Ellinas takes maiden pole position

The Cypriot had given notice of his strong form by topping Friday practice, and was in control throughout the final five minutes of qualifying, improving his provisional pole position time on four occasions to earn a 0.2s advantage over the field.

Title challenger Matthieu Vaxiviere ended the morning with a front row starting position for race one, ahead of championship leader Oliver Rowland, who rescued third place by moving up the order on his final lap.

The Briton's Fortec team-mate Jazeman Jaafar qualified in fourth, edging out Carlin's Tom Dillmann and Arden racer Nicholas Latifi, who were separated by just 0.019s.

The track was declared wet at the start of the half-hour qualifying session, but Rowland headed a gaggle of cars mounted largely with slick tyres out of the pits.

Damp patches were clearly visible on the pitlane exit, and Tech 1 driver Roy Nissany spun at The Loop, ending his morning's work on his out lap.

The tricky conditions caught out GP2 racer Nick Yelloly, making his first appearance in the category this year - the Lotus driver spun backwards into the gravel on the exit of Club, bringing out the red flags.

On the restart, times rapidly improved. Bruno Bonifacio, Rowland, Dean Stoneman, Latifi, Vaxiviere and Fantin took turns at the top of the timing screens before the field stopped for fresh tyres just past the midway mark.

Friday morning pacesetter Fantin held provisional pole on 1m44.313s as qualifying entered its final phase, with Rowland down in 11th at that stage before his late improvement.

Alfonso Celis's AVF car ground to a halt on the pitlane exit when holding a provisional seventh position, and the luckless Mexican was demoted to an eventual 16th.

Ninth qualifier Aurelien Panis is under investigation for a possible track limits violation, while FR3.5 debutant Will Bratt starts 17th on his first single-seater outing for four years.


Pos Driver Team Gap Laps
1 Tio Ellinas Strakka Racing 1m41.858s 14
2 Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 0.236s 13
3 Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 0.326s 15
4 Jazeman Jaafar Fortec Motorsports 0.330s 14
5 Pietro Fantin International Draco Racing 0.466s 14
6 Tom Dillmann Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 0.485s 13
7 Nicholas Latifi Arden Motorsport 0.629s 14
8 Nyck de Vries DAMS 0.642s 14
9 Gustav Malja Strakka Racing 0.661s 14
10 Dean Stoneman DAMS 0.666s 14
11 Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport 0.915s 14
12 Aurelien Panis Tech 1 Racing 1.034s 8
13 Beitske Visser AVF 1.246s 14
14 Sean Gelael Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1.522s 14
15 Bruno Bonifacio International Draco Racing 1.636s 14
16 Alfonso Celis AVF 3.687s 9
17 Will Bratt Pons Racing 3.948s 13
18 Philo Paz Armand Pons Racing 4.172s 12
- Nick Yelloly Lotus - 1
- Roy Nissany Tech 1 Racing - 0


RPM organiser to take over Formula Renault 3.5 from 2016

Silverstone FR3.5: Tio Ellinas dominates action-packed race