Moscow Winner Merhi on Top in Nurburgring Tests

The most recent new race winner in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series Roberto Merhi continued his good run by setting the fastest time in the collective tests ahead of this weekend’s round at the Nurburgring in Germany. The Zeta Corse driver set his best time of 1:42.179s in the closing stages of the second session to beat Pierre Gasly of Arden Motorsport.

In the first session, that was delayed after fog engulfed the circuit, Fortec Motorsports’ Russian driver Sergey Sirotkin, also a winner at Moscow Raceway two weeks ago, was fastest. The Russian was one of a handful of drivers not to improve on his time in the second session, and ultimately ended up tenth overall in the combined times.

Current Championship leader Carlos Sainz Jr was third overall in the leading DAMS entry, with the team hoping for a much stronger outing at the Nurburgring after struggling for pace in Russia. The Spaniard led a trio of British drivers in fourth, fifth and sixth, with William Buller of Arden Motorsport leading Oliver Rowland of Fortec Motorsport and Will Stevens of Strakka Racing.

Marlon Stockinger was the leading Lotus driver in seventh, ahead of Stevens’ Strakka team-mate Matias Lainé in eighth, while Marco Sorensen was ninth fastest for Tech 1 Racing ahead of Sirotkin.

Matthieu Vaxiviere was eleventh fastest on his return from injury for Lotus, while series debutants Cameron Twynham of Comtec Racing and Alfonso Celis Jr of Tech 1 Racing were twenty-first and twenty-second as they adjusted to their new cars.

Nurburgring Combined Collective Tests Results

1 Roberto Merhi ESP Zeta Corse 1:42.179
2 Pierre Gasly FRA Arden Motorsport 1:42.208
3 Carlos Sainz Jr ESP DAMS 1:42.275
4 William Buller GBR Arden Motorsport 1:42.445
5 Oliver Rowland GBR Fortec Motorsports 1:42.557
6 Will Stevens GBR Strakka Racing 1:42.608
7 Marlon Stockinger PHI Lotus 1:42.624
8 Matias Lainé FIN Strakka Racing 1:42.796
9 Marco Sorensen DEN Tech 1 Racing 1:42.837
10 Sergey Sirotkin RUS Fortec Motorsports 1:42.898
11 Matthieu Vaxiviere FRA Lotus 1:42.904
12 Norman Nato FRA DAMS 1:42.976
13 Luca Ghiotto ITA International Draco Racing 1:43.001
14 Oscar Tunjo COL Pons Racing 1:43.004
15 Pietro Fantin BRZ International Draco Racing 1:43.160
16 Roman Mavlanov RUS Zeta Corse 1:43.494
17 Jazeman Jaafar MAL ISR Racing 1:43.652
18 Beitske Visser NED AV Formula 1:43.759
19 Zoel Amberg SWI AV Formula 1:43.839
20 Meindert van Buuren NED Pons Racing 1:44.055
21 Cameron Twynham GBR Comtec Racing 1:44.293
22 Alfonso Celis Jr MEX Tech 1 Racing 1:44.449