Hungaroring FR3.5: Olvier Rowland denies rookie Egor Orudzhev pole

Championship leader Oliver Rowland claimed pole position for the opening Formula Renault 3.5 race at the Hungaroring

The result follows the Fortec racer's pole at the preceding meeting at Spa-Francorchamps a fortnight ago.

The Briton's two closest pursuers in the title race, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Jazeman Jaafar, will also be in contention for victory in Saturday afternoon's race, and will head the second row of the grid.

Both were overshadowed by the surprise of qualifying, Arden racer Egor Orudzhev.

The SMP-backed Russian was a consistent presence towards the top of the timing screens, and held provisional pole with just a minute of the half-hour session remaining.

Rowland's late effort of 1m28.897s would deny Orudzhev a maiden pole position by 0.210 seconds.

GP2 race-winner Tom Dillmann recovered from a lowly 16th mid-way through the session to claim fifth for Carlin, ahead of Manor Formula 1 driver Roberto Merhi.

The Spaniard was a dominant victor in the wet for Zeta Corse in Hungary last year, but this top-six starting position is the first real sign of progress for the Merhi/Pons combination in 2015.

Gustav Malja's Strakka car stopped at Turn 13 early in the session and the Swede is set to start from last.

Meindert van Buuren, whose regular seat at Lotus was taken by European Formula 3 driver Alexander Albon on Friday, returned and claimed 14th.


Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 1m28.867s -
2 Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport 1m29.077s 0.210s
3 Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 1m29.160s 0.293s
4 Jazeman Jaafar Fortec Motorsports 1m29.218s 0.351s
5 Tom Dillmann Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1m29.242s 0.375s
6 Roberto Merhi Pons Racing 1m29.371s 0.504s
7 Nicholas Latifi Arden Motorsport 1m29.399s 0.532s
8 Pietro Fantin International Draco Racing 1m29.461s 0.594s
9 Aurelien Panis Tech 1 Racing 1m29.542s 0.675s
10 Tio Ellinas Strakka Racing 1m29.778s 0.911s
11 Dean Stoneman DAMS 1m29.789s 0.922s
12 Philo Paz Armand Pons Racing 1m29.827s 0.960s
13 Beitske Visser AVF 1m29.901s 1.034s
14 Meindert van Buuren Lotus 1m29.928s 1.061s
15 Sean Gelael Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1m30.021s 1.154s
16 Roy Nissany Tech 1 Racing 1m30.036s 1.169s
17 Bruno Bonifacio International Draco Racing 1m30.172s 1.305s
18 Nyck de Vries DAMS 1m30.176s 1.309s
19 Alfonso Celis AVF 1m30.313s 1.446s
- Gustav Malja Strakka Racing 1m46.010s 17.143s


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Hungaroring FR3.5: Orudzhev denies Merhi and Rowland in epic race