Nurburgring FR3.5: Oliver Rowland grabs pole before red flag

Title favourite Oliver Rowland claimed his fourth pole position of the season in a somewhat anticlimactic Formula Renault 3.5 qualifying session at the Nurburgring

Nurburgring FR3.5: Oliver Rowland grabs pole before red flag

A late red flag, caused when Tom Dillmann's Carlin machine stopped at Turn 1, led to the session being curtailed with a little under two minutes left on the clocks.

The majority of the field was on track at the time of the stoppage, and left unable to exploit their new tyre runs when qualifying was abandoned.

Cypriot Tio Ellinas may have had particular reason to be upset at the premature ending to the morning's action.

The Silverstone winner was 0.339 seconds up on Fortec racer Rowland's benchmark time at the second timing split when the red flags were flown.

Strakka driver Ellinas ended the session in third, but will be promoted to the front row for Saturday afternoon's opening race.

McLaren junior driver Nyck de Vries will receive a two-place grid penalty for his part in an accident with Bruno Bonifacio at Silverstone last week, dropping from second to fourth.

Single-seater veteran Dillmann heads the second row. He was under investigation for causing the stoppage and could have had his fastest lap deleted but stewards decided to take no action.

Rowland's championship rival Matthieu Vaxiviere is set to start from fifth for Lotus Charouz, ahead of Monaco winner Jazeman Jaafar, who will be keen to recapture his early-season form.

Jaafar was one of very few drivers to improve his position on new tyres. The Petronas-backed Malaysian found four tenths to demote Silverstone podium finisher Pietro Fantin to seventh.

Tech 1 driver Roy Nissany also gained ground, creeping into the top 10 at the expense of Pons Racing's debutant Yu Kanamaru.

The weekend's second newcomer, GP2 stalwart Rene Binder, will line up in the penultimate position on the grid in the second Pons entry formerly driven by Manor Formula 1 man Roberto Merhi.

Arden's pairing of Hungaroring winner Egor Orudzhev and Nicholas Latifi struggled on their old tyre run in the first half of qualifying, and were left in an atypical 16th and 17th after the stoppage.

QUALIFYING RESULTS:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 1m41.004s -
2 Nyck de Vries DAMS 1m41.217s 0.213s
3 Tio Ellinas Strakka Racing 1m41.230s 0.226s
4 Tom Dillmann Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1m41.236s 0.232s
5 Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 1m41.381s 0.377s
6 Jazeman Jaafar Fortec Motorsports 1m41.457s 0.453s
7 Pietro Fantin International Draco Racing 1m41.526s 0.522s
8 Dean Stoneman DAMS 1m41.554s 0.550s
9 Roy Nissany Tech 1 Racing 1m41.662s 0.658s
10 Gustav Malja Strakka Racing 1m41.876s 0.872s
11 Yu Kanamaru Pons Racing 1m42.010s 1.006s
12 Beitske Visser AVF 1m42.014s 1.010s
13 Marlon Stockinger Lotus 1m42.018s 1.014s
14 Aurelien Panis Tech 1 Racing 1m42.166s 1.162s
15 Alfonso Celis AVF 1m42.232s 1.228s
16 Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport 1m42.389s 1.385s
17 Nicholas Latifi Arden Motorsport 1m42.402s 1.398s
18 Bruno Bonifacio International Draco Racing 1m42.504s 1.500s
19 Rene Binder Pons Racing 1m42.827s 1.823s
20 Sean Gelael Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1m43.093s 2.089s


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Nurburgring FR3.5: Oliver Rowland fastest in free practice

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