Formula Renault 3.5: Red Bull Ring poles for Rowland and Vaxiviere
Formula Renault 3.5 Series leader Oliver Rowland (Fortec Motorsports) took the pole position for Race 1 tomorrow at Red Bull Ring. He was fastest with lap time 1.17.641 ahead two Lotus drivers, returning Marlon Stockinger and his closest championship rival Matthieu Vaxiviere (Lotus). The Frenchman in the Lotus F1 Junior Team then grabbed the pole for Race 2 by dominating the second qualifying session with a best lap time of 1:18.160. Second was Roberto Merhi (Pons Racing) and third was Oliver Rowland.
In the first qualifying session Matthieu Vaxiviere ended the first stint in the lead before the switch was made to new tyres. After a short interruption due to Pietro Fantin (International Draco Racing) stopping on the circuit, Nyck de Vries (DAMS) kicked-off the final sprint in which Oliver Rowland came out on top with a time of 1:17.641, ahead of Formula Renault 3.5 returnee for the weekend Marlon Stockinger and Matthieu Vaxiviere. Dean Stoneman (DAMS) was fourth quickest and best among the rookies, while Roberto Merhi and Nyck de Vries qualified on row three. It was Rowland’s third pole this season.
The second session began under threatening skies. There were numerous improvements and Meindert van Buuren (Pons Racing) was quickest until a red flag stoppage provoked by Beitske Visser (AVF). Despite a few rain drops, Roberto Merhi went quicker than his team mate, as did Nyck de Vries Matthieu Vaxiviere, Pietro Fantin and Oliver Rowland. The Frenchman won out with a best time of 1:18.160, ahead of Roberto Merhi, Oliver Rowland and the rookies, Nyck de Vries and Roy Nissany (Tech 1 Racing).
Races are scheduled for 10.25 and 18.20 local time.