Red Bull Ring FR3.5: Oliver Rowland beats Marlon Stockinger to pole

Championship leader Oliver Rowland claimed his third Formula Renault 3.5 pole position of the season at the Red Bull Ring

Red Bull Ring FR3.5: Oliver Rowland beats Marlon Stockinger to pole

The Racing Steps-backed Briton set his fastest lap of 1m17.641s two minutes before the chequered flag in the half-hour session.

Fortec driver Rowland edged out Lotus twins Marlon Stockinger and title contender Matthieu Vaxiviere by two tenths of a second, and admitted the result had been a surprise after a tough free practice session on Saturday morning.

"To be honest, I just drove like a nutter and the car stayed on the road," said Rowland.

"I wasn't expecting to set pole. We were in trouble in practice this morning, but we made quite a lot of changes and the car is better.

"The times are a lot slower than this morning because the temperature has risen and, perhaps, because of the ELMS rubber.

"There is still more to come, though. I am not entirely satisfied with the car balance. If I want another pole this afternoon I am going to really have to work for it."

Front-row starting FR3.5 returnee Stockinger has recent experience of the Spielberg track from contesting the GP2 meeting last month for his regular team Status.

He is racing in FR3.5 this weekend as Lotus has parted company with Meindert van Buuren.

Saturday practice pacesetter Dean Stoneman will join Vaxiviere on the second row of Sunday morning's opening race after recording the fourth fastest time.

Manor Formula 1 driver Roberto Merhi will start fifth for Pons, ahead of Stoneman's DAMS team-mate Nyck de Vries, who fleetingly held provisional pole in the closing minutes.

The session was red-flagged as it entered its final third when Draco driver Pietro Fantin stopped at Turn 1.

Fantin is under investigation and could lose his fastest lap for causing the stoppage.

Monaco winner Jazeman Jaafar's tough Saturday continued. After complaining of grip issues in practice, the Malaysian could only manage 15th fastest in qualifying.

QUALIFYING ONE:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 1m17.641s -
2 Marlon Stockinger Lotus 1m17.855s 0.214s
3 Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 1m17.873s 0.232s
4 Dean Stoneman DAMS 1m17.954s 0.313s
5 Roberto Merhi Pons Racing 1m18.105s 0.464s
6 Nyck de Vries DAMS 1m18.116s 0.475s
7 Gustav Malja Strakka Racing 1m18.223s 0.582s
8 Nicholas Latifi Arden Motorsport 1m18.238s 0.597s
9 Tom Dillmann Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1m18.243s 0.602s
10 Tio Ellinas Strakka Racing 1m18.244s 0.603s
11 Aurelien Panis Tech 1 Racing 1m18.251s 0.610s
12 Roy Nissany Tech 1 Racing 1m18.337s 0.696s
13 Meindert van Buuren Pons Racing 1m18.392s 0.751s
14 Alfonso Celis AVF 1m18.495s 0.854s
15 Jazeman Jaafar Fortec Motorsports 1m18.623s 0.982s
16 Beitske Visser AVF 1m18.656s 1.015s
17 Sean Gelael Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1m18.704s 1.063s
18 Bruno Bonifacio International Draco Racing 1m18.912s 1.271s
19 Pietro Fantin International Draco Racing 1m18.981s 1.340s
20 Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport 1m19.033s 1.392s
21 Louis Deletraz Comtec Racing 1m19.242s 1.601s

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