Red Bull Junior drivers Carlos Sainz Jr and Pierre Gasly will start race one at Spa-Francorchamps on the front row after the first Formula Renault 3.5 Series qualifying session at the Belgian track. DAMS driver Sainz beat Arden Motorsport’s Gasly by 0.121s for his fourth pole of 2014, while eight teams are represented in the top eight positions on the grid.
Russian teenager Sergey Sirotkin was third for Fortec Motorsport, while series returnee Richie Stanaway was an impressive fourth for Lotus in his first race in the series since a career-threatening back injury suffered at this track in 2012.
A second Spaniard in the form of Roberto Merhi was fifth for Zeta Corse, just ahead of International Draco Racing’s Pietro Fantin. Finn Matias Laine had his best qualifying session of the season for Strakka Racing with seventh, ahead of Swiss driver Zoel Amberg for AV Formula. Marlon Stockinger in the second Lotus was ninth, while Oliver Rowland, a race winner in Motorland Aragon, completed the top ten for Fortec.
Monaco race winner Norman Nato struggled to twelfth on the grid in the second DAMS machine, while his fellow podium finishes from last weekend Marco Sorensen of Tech 1 Racing and Jazeman Jaafar of ISR down in thirteenth and fourteenth, proving just how competitive Formula Renault 3.5 is in 2014. This is further shown by the fact the winner of the opening round of the season in Monza Will Stevens will start down in fifteenth place in his Strakka Racing machine for this afternoons first race of the weekend.
Spa-Francorchamps Race 1 Qualifying Times
|1||Carlos Sainz Jr||ESP||DAMS||1:58.681|
|2||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Arden Motorsport||1:58.802|
|3||Sergey Sirotkin||RUS||Fortec Motorsport||1:58.818|
|5||Roberto Merhi||ESP||Zeta Corse||1:58.928|
|6||Pietro Fantin||BRZ||International Draco Racing||1:58.993|
|7||Matias Laine||FIN||Strakka Racing||1:58.994|
|8||Zoel Amberg||SWI||AV Formula||1:59.015|
|10||Oliver Rowland||GBR||Fortec Motorsport||1:59.151|
|11||Luca Ghiotto||ITA||International Draco Racing||1:59.206|
|13||Marco Sorensen||DEN||Tech 1 Racing||1:59.229|
|14||Jazeman Jaafar||MAL||ISR Racing||1:59.260|
|15||Will Stevens||GBR||Strakka Racing||1:59.388|
|16||Will Buller||GBR||Arden Motorsport||1:59.477|
|17||Meindert van Buuren||NED||Pons Racing||1:59.610|
|18||Beitske Visser||NED||AV Formula||1:59.692|
|19||Oscar Tunjo||COL||Pons Racing||1:59.965|
|20||Roman Mavlanov||RUS||Zeta Corse||2:01.118|