Rowland grabs Pole for Red Bull Ring opener

Championship leader Oliver Rowland took pole position for race one of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series weekend at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

The British driver set a best lap of 1m17.641s in his Racing Steps Foundation-backed Fortec Motorsports machine for his third pole position in four races.

Joining Rowland on the front row will be the returning Marlon Stockinger, who got ahead of his championship challenging Lotus team-mate Matthieu Vaxiviere by just 0.018s, while morning pacesetter Dean Stoneman was fourth in his Red Bull-backed DAMS entry.

Roberto Merhi was fifth fastest for Pons Racing, ahead of the second DAMS entry of McLaren Junior Driver Nyck De Vries, while row four will see Gustav Malja of Strakka Racing line up alongside Arden Motorsport’s Nicholas Latifi.

Tom Dillmann was fighting near the front of the field early in the session but was forced to settle for ninth for Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, while Tio Ellinas will be disappointed to qualify down in tenth for Strakka Racing after finishing inside the top two in both free practice sessions this weekend.

The session was halted with just over ten minutes remaining when Pietro Fantin stopped his International Draco Racing machine on track at pit exit, with the Brazilian under investigation as a result, with his two best lap times likely to be deleted as a result.

Red Bull Ring Race 1 Qualifying Result

14Oliver RowlandGBRFortec Motorsports1m17.641s
210Marlon StockingerPHILotus1m17.855s
39Matthieu VaxiviereFRALotus1m17.873s
42Dean StonemanGBRDAMS1m17.954s
540Roberto MerhiESPPons Racing1m18.105s
61Nyck de VriesNEDDAMS1m18.116s
712Gustav MaljaSWEStrakka Racing1m18.223s
85Nicholas LatifiCANArden Motorsport1m18.238s
926Tom DillmannFRAJagonya Ayam with Carlin1m18.243s
1011Tio EllinasCYPStrakka Racing1m18.244s
1118Aurelien PanisFRATech 1 Racing1m18.251s
1217Roy NissanyISRTech 1 Racing1m18.337s
1339Meindert van BuurenNEDPons Racing1m18.392s
1415Alfonso Celis JrMEXAVF1m18.495s
153Jazeman JaafarMALFortec Motorsports1m18.623s
1616Beitske VisserNEDAVF1m18.656s
1725Sean GelaelINOJagonya Ayam with Carlin1m18.704s
1820Bruno BonifacioBRZInternational Draco Racing1m18.912s
1919Pietro FantinBRZInternational Draco Racing1m18.981s
206Egor OrudzhevRUSArden Motorsport1m19.033s
2121Louis DeletrazSWIComtec Racing1m19.242s