Le Mans FR3.5: Tio Ellinas on pole, Oliver Rowland only 14th

Strakka Racing's Tio Ellinas claimed pole for the second Le Mans Formula Renault 3.5 race, but Oliver Rowland starts only 14th on the day he can become champion

Le Mans FR3.5: Tio Ellinas on pole, Oliver Rowland only 14th

Silverstone and Nurburgring victor Ellinas was in stunning form on the way to his second 2015 pole, setting a fastest lap of 1m20.648s that was half a second clear of the chasing pack.

Behind him, track limits - a source of grievances throughout the weekend - continued to prove troublesome.

Race one victor and champion-elect Rowland was among at least nine drivers to have quick laps deleted.

The Fortec driver's impeccable run of consistency ended after he lost two flying laps, leaving him an uncharacteristic 14th.

With Rowland in the midfield, a trio of Frenchmen will line up in Ellinas's mirrors on the grid on Sunday afternoon.

Matthieu Vaxiviere, who received criticism among his peers for a hard-charging but wayward drive in race one, will complete the front row for the Charouz-run Lotus team.

Tom Dillmann praised his Carlin team for its change in set-up direction following a return to the podium in Saturday's opener.

Dillmann's prediction of completing the weekend with another strong showing was validated by qualifying third for race two ahead of improving rookie Aurelien Panis.

Race one runner-up Egor Orudzhev was fifth, just 0.009 seconds behind Panis, and edged out the DAMS pairing of Red Bull junior racer Dean Stoneman and McLaren protege Nyck de Vries.

The session was red-flagged before anyone had registered a competitive lap when Andre Negrao's car leaked fluid on the racing line three minutes into the half hour session.

The GP2 racer's Draco machine developed its fault at the first chicane and deposited a trail around nearly a complete lap.

The Le Mans marshals were called on with all manner of cleaning equipment, but a lengthy 23-minute delay was incurred.

Series returnee Negrao, who is making his first appearance in FR3.5 of 2015, is set to start from last after his dramas.

RACE TWO QUALIFYING:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 Tio Ellinas Strakka Racing 1m20.648s -
2 Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 1m21.111s 0.463s
3 Tom Dillmann Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1m21.121s 0.473s
4 Aurelien Panis Tech 1 Racing 1m21.204s 0.556s
5 Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport 1m21.213s 0.565s
6 Dean Stoneman DAMS 1m21.331s 0.683s
7 Nyck de Vries DAMS 1m21.344s 0.696s
8 Jazeman Jaafar Fortec Motorsports 1m21.425s 0.777s
9 Nicholas Latifi Arden Motorsport 1m21.604s 0.956s
10 Alfonso Celis AVF 1m21.650s 1.002s
11 Marlon Stockinger Lotus 1m21.684s 1.036s
12 Roy Nissany Tech 1 Racing 1m21.826s 1.178s
13 Gustav Malja Strakka Racing 1m21.847s 1.199s
14 Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 1m21.867s 1.219s
15 Beitske Visser AVF 1m21.934s 1.286s
16 Sean Gelael Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1m22.213s 1.565s
17 Yu Kanamaru Pons Racing 1m22.452s 1.804s
18 Nikita Zlobin Pons Racing 1m22.472s 1.824s
- Andre Negrao International Draco Racing - -


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