Vaxiviere pips Malja to maiden pole in Spain

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

19Matthieu VaxiviereFRALotus1m41.446s
212Gustav MaljaSWEStrakka Racing1m41.471s
34Oliver RowlandGBRFortec Motorsports1m41.628s
410Meindert van BuurenNEDLotus1m41.674s
53Jazeman JaafarMALFortec Motorsports1m41.692s
626Tom DillmannFRAJagonya Ayam with Carlin1m41.709s
72Dean StonemanGBRDAMS1m41.757s
811Tio EllinasCYPStrakka Racing1m41.844s
95Nicholas LatifiCANArden Motorsport1m41.921s
101Nyck de VriesNEDDAMS1m42.041s
1119Pietro FantinBRZInternational Draco Racing1m42.149s
1216Beitske VisserNEDAVF1m42.270s
1340Roberto MerhiESPPons Racing1m42.471s
146Egor OrudzhevRUSArden Motorsport1m42.529s
1525Sean GelaelINOJagonya Ayam with Carlin1m42.624s
1615Alfonso Celis JrMEXAVF1m42.678s
1717Roy NissanyISRTech 1 Racing1m42.678s
1820Bruno BonifacioBRZInternational Draco Racing1m42.895s
1939Philo Paz Patric ArmandINOPons Racing1m42.965s
2018Aurelien PanisFRATech 1 Racing1m43.090s