Formula Renault 3.5

Rookie Rowland Fastest on Day Two of Jerez Test

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Briton Oliver Rowland, the 2013 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 runner-up, topped the second day as the Jerez pre-season Formula Renault 3.5 series test continued in Spain.  His Fortec Motorsport team-mate Sergey Sirotkin was second, just ahead of the Red Bull backed Pierre Gasly; the 2013 Eurocup FR2.0 champion putting his Arden Motorsport car into third.

“I did a pretty good lap this morning, but there’s still a bit more to come,” said Rowland on the official WSR website.  “This afternoon, our pace on used tyres wasn’t that far off the pace set by the DAMS cars on new tyres. However, it’s testing and things will be different once the season gets underway.

“Let’s hope that with the experience of Sergey, I can learn from him and he can do the same and we can improve our performances. Tomorrow I’ll be focussing on doing a race simulation.”

“The morning went very well,” added team-mate Sirotkin.  “Unfortunately, I struggled with the traffic and was held off when I was on a very fast lap.  In the afternoon, many drivers put on fresh tyres, but we didn’t. We did manage a couple of quick laps, but my other attempts were destroyed.

“It’s a shame because the tyres are very quick here for one or two laps, a bit like in F1. There’s no room for error.”

The fastest times of the day were set in the morning session, with day one pacesetter Jazeman Jaafar finishing day two in fourth place in his ISR machine.  Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr completed the top five for DAMS as times tumbled compared to the opening day.

International Draco Racing’s Pietro Fantin had a better day two compared to the first day, finishing sixth fastest, just ahead of Sainz’s team-mate Norman Nato in the second DAMS car.  The top ten was rounded out by Marlon Stockinger (Lotus), Nikolay Martsenko (Comtec Racing) and Nigel Melker (ISR).

But it was Rowland who finished the day on top, his lap of 1:25.396s almost 1.5s faster than the pace set on day one by Jaafar.  Indeed 19 of the 22 drivers who set times were faster than the day one fastest time.

The test concludes tomorrow, with Tio Ellinas switching from the Tech 1 Racing car he has tested for the past two days to the Pons Racing car.  The driver for the Tech 1 car has yet to be announced, though it is entirely possible they will only run with Marco Sorensen for the final day.

Jerez Day 2 Pre-season Test Times

1 Oliver Rowland GBR Fortec Motorsports 1:25.396
2 Sergey Sirotkin RUS Fortec Motorsports 1:25.491
3 Pierre Gasly FRA Arden Motorsport 1:25.527
4 Jazeman Jaafar MAL ISR 1:25.544
5 Carlos Sainz Jr ESP DAMS 1:25.701
6 Pietro Fantin BRZ International Draco Racing 1:25.818
7 Norman Nato FRA DAMS 1:25.834
8 Marlon Stockinger PHI Lotus 1:25.862
9 Nikolay Martsenko RUS Comtec Racing 1:25.865
10 Nigel Melker NED ISR 1:25.948
11 Zoel Amberg SWI AVF 1:25.961
12 Will Stevens GBR Strakka Racing 1:26.139
13 Matias Laine FIN Strakka Racing 1:26.198
14 Marco Sorensen DEN Tech 1 Racing 1:26.240
15 William Buller GBR Arden Motorsport 1:26.269
16 Matthieu Vaxiviere FRA Lotus 1:26.335
17 Meindert van Buuren NED Pons Racing 1:26.401
18 Luca Ghiotto ITA International Draco Racing 1:26.489
19 Tio Ellinas CYP Tech 1 Racing 1:26.725
20 Beitske Visser NED AVF 1:26.924
21 Roberto Merhi ESP Zeta Corse 1:26.994
22 Roman Mavlanov RUS Zeta Corse 1:27.097
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Long time motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1 and the occassional other series. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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