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Jerez Formula Renault 3.5: Oliver Rowland grabs pole for finale

Oliver Rowland claimed his seventh pole position of the season at Jerez, in the last Formula Renault 3.5 race as part of the World Series by Renault package

The Fortec driver left it until the final 15 seconds of a wet qualifying session to post his time of 1m45.903s, which elevated him from a provisional fifth place.

Rowland's season-long rival Matthieu Vaxiviere was also a late improver and took second place for the Charouz-run Lotus team.

While the front row men for Sunday afternoon's final race are secure in the top two championship positions, DAMS racer Nyck de Vries will be aiming to hang onto third in the drivers' standings in what is a five-way battle.

The McLaren-backed racer, who is also the series' leading rookie, held provisional pole for five minutes before being demoted to third.

Race one runner-up Egor Orudzhev ended the morning fourth, ahead of the session's early leader Alfonso Celis Jr - who enjoyed one of his strongest showings of the season.

AVF driver Celis was one of small group to gamble on slick tyres in race one, and although the move did not pay off in terms of a result, the Mexican took fastest lap.

Strakka Racing's Tio Ellinas completed the top six from Nicholas Latifi and Tom Dillmann, the latter surviving a minor trip through the gravel at Turn 2.

Conditions were wet throughout the half-hour session, and a torrential downpour earlier in the morning contributed to a 50-minute delay in qualifying starting.

Rowland has enjoyed a record-breaking season in FR3.5 this year, but has yet to achieve his goal of a double victory in a weekend.

Pole position for race two at Jerez means that target remains a possibility.

QUALIFYING TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 1m45.903s -
2 Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 1m46.019s 0.116s
3 Nyck de Vries DAMS 1m46.352s 0.449s
4 Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport 1m46.768s 0.865s
5 Alfonso Celis AVF 1m47.056s 1.153s
6 Tio Ellinas Strakka Racing 1m47.256s 1.353s
7 Nicholas Latifi Arden Motorsport 1m47.328s 1.425s
8 Tom Dillmann Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1m47.409s 1.506s
9 Dean Stoneman DAMS 1m47.467s 1.564s
10 Gustav Malja Strakka Racing 1m47.477s 1.574s
11 Andre Negrao International Draco Racing 1m47.702s 1.799s
12 Yu Kanamaru Pons Racing 1m48.082s 2.179s
13 Sean Gelael Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1m48.157s 2.254s
14 Jazeman Jaafar Fortec Motorsports 1m48.211s 2.308s
15 Beitske Visser AVF 1m48.545s 2.642s
16 Nikita Zlobin Pons Racing 1m48.687s 2.784s
17 Marlon Stockinger Lotus 1m48.773s 2.870s
18 Aurelien Panis Tech 1 Racing 1m48.987s 3.084s
19 Roy Nissany Tech 1 Racing 1m49.846s 3.943s

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