Sainz Fastest in Spa-Francorchamps Practice

Carlos Sainz Jr continued the domination the DAMS team have shown during the 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 Series season by setting the fastest time overall in the free practice sessions at Spa-Francorchamps.

The Spaniard set the best time of the day in the second faster session, as light rain hampered the drivers during the morning session. His time of 1:59.139s was 0.205s clear of second placed Russian driver Sergey Sirotkin of the Fortec Motorsport team. The DAMS driver was strong in both single-lap and long-run pace and should be one of the favourites for pole position tomorrow morning.

It was Sirotkin who led the morning session with a lap of 2:01.777s ahead of Arden Motorsport’s Pierre Gasly with Sainz in third. Marlon Stockinger put his awful Monaco weekend behind him to be fourth in the morning session for Lotus, with Pietro Fantin in the International Draco Racing machine rounding out the top five.

Fantin’s Draco team-mate Luca Ghiotto finished sixth fastest in the morning, ahead of AV Formula’s Zoel Amberg in seventh. Will Stevens for Strakka Racing was eighth, Marco Sorensen ninth for Tech 1 Racing and Meindert van Buuren tenth for Pons Racing.

In the afternoon it was Sainz who led the way from Sirotkin, with Sorensen, Fantin and Gasly completing the top five. Oliver Rowland in the second Fortec Motorsport machine was sixth ahead of series returnee Richie Stanaway, in for the injured Matthieu Vaxiviere at Lotus in seventh. Stevens, Will Buller of Arden Motorsport and Amberg rounded out the top ten.

Monaco race winner Norman Nato struggled in the second DAMS machine, finishing twelfth in the opening session before falling to fourteenth in the afternoon. Series debutant Oscar Tunjo applied himself well for Pons Racing, finishing seventeenth in both sessions, including outpacing team-mate van Buuren in the afternoon.

Spa-Francorchamps Free Practice Times (Combined)

1 Carlos Sainz Jr ESP DAMS 1:59.139
2 Sergey Sirotkin RUS Fortec Motorsport 1:59.344
3 Marco Sorensen DEN Tech 1 Racing 1:59.607
4 Pietro Fantin BRZ International Draco Racing 1:59.661
5 Pierre Gasly FRA Arden Motorsport 1:59.818
6 Oliver Rowland GBR Fortec Motorsport 1:59.823
7 Richie Stanaway NZL Lotus 1:59.850
8 Will Stevens GBR Strakka Racing 1:59.878
9 Will Buller GBR Arden Motorsport 1:59.920
10 Zoel Amberg SWI AV Formula 1:59.944
11 Matias Lainé FIN Strakka Racing 2:00.145
12 Jazeman Jaafar MAL ISR Racing 2:00.215
13 Roberto Merhi ESP Zeta Corse 2:00.240
14 Norman Nato BRZ DAMS 2:00.334
15 Luca Ghiotto ITA International Draco Racing 2:00.669
16 Marlon Stockinger PHI Lotus 2:00.692
17 Oscar Tunjo COL Pons Racing 2:00.947
18 Meindert van Buuren NED Pons Racing 2:01.039
19 Beitske Visser NED AV Formula 2:01.619
20 Roman Mavlanov RUS Zeta Corse 2:02.143