Matthieu Vaxiviere held off the challenge of Gustav Malja to take his first pole position of his Formula Renault 3.5 Series career ahead of race one at Motorland Aragon.
The Frenchman, who topped both Collective Test sessions at the Spanish circuit on Friday, set a best lap time of 1m41.446s in his Charouz-run Lotus machine to beat Strakka Racing’s Malja by just 0.025s, with the Swede being the best of the rookies in the field.
Pre-season championship favourite Oliver Rowland will start the opening race of the 2015 season from third on the grid in his Fortec Motorsports machine, and will be joined on the second row by Dutchman Meindert van Buuren in the second Lotus, who had by far his most impressive session so far in his Formula Renault career.
Jazeman Jaafar was fifth in the second Fortec, ahead of Tom Dillmann of Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, while Red Bull-backed Dean Stoneman will start seventh for DAMS.
Tio Ellinas will start his first Formula Renault 3.5 Series race from eighth on the grid in the second Strakka Racing entry, while Nicholas Latifi of Arden Motorsport and Nyck de Vries of DAMS completed the top ten.
Vaxiviere will be hoping to turn his maiden pole position into a maiden victory when race one gets underway at 14:30 local time.
Motorland Aragon Race 1 Qualifying Times
|2||12||Gustav Malja||SWE||Strakka Racing||1m41.471s|
|3||4||Oliver Rowland||GBR||Fortec Motorsports||1m41.628s|
|4||10||Meindert van Buuren||NED||Lotus||1m41.674s|
|5||3||Jazeman Jaafar||MAL||Fortec Motorsports||1m41.692s|
|6||26||Tom Dillmann||FRA||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||1m41.709s|
|8||11||Tio Ellinas||CYP||Strakka Racing||1m41.844s|
|9||5||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Arden Motorsport||1m41.921s|
|10||1||Nyck de Vries||NED||DAMS||1m42.041s|
|11||19||Pietro Fantin||BRZ||International Draco Racing||1m42.149s|
|13||40||Roberto Merhi||ESP||Pons Racing||1m42.471s|
|14||6||Egor Orudzhev||RUS||Arden Motorsport||1m42.529s|
|15||25||Sean Gelael||INO||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||1m42.624s|
|16||15||Alfonso Celis Jr||MEX||AVF||1m42.678s|
|17||17||Roy Nissany||ISR||Tech 1 Racing||1m42.678s|
|18||20||Bruno Bonifacio||BRZ||International Draco Racing||1m42.895s|
|19||39||Philo Paz Patric Armand||INO||Pons Racing||1m42.965s|
|20||18||Aurelien Panis||FRA||Tech 1 Racing||1m43.090s|