Formula Renault 3.5

Vaxiviere beats the weather to take race two pole

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Matthieu Vaxiviere secured his fourth pole position of the season in a drizzle-affected second qualifying session at the Red Bull Ring on Saturday.

The Lotus driver set a time of 1m18.160s late in the session to take top spot, finishing 0.267s clear of second placed Roberto Merhi, who secured his best starting position of the season so far for Pons Racing.

The shower midway through the session had given Meindert van Buuren hope of a maiden pole position, with the Dutchman on top when the rain came down, but due to the track drying quickly, times tumbled at the conclusion, leaving the second Pons Racing driver down in seventh at the chequered flag.

Race 1 pole sitter Oliver Rowland will start third for Fortec Motorsports, but was lucky to escape a spin into the gravel at turn six when the rain began to fall, getting back onto the track and heading into the pits for a second chance.

Rowland will be joined on the second row by DAMS driver Nyck de Vries, while fifth place and a seasons best is Roy Nissany of Tech 1 Racing, just ahead of the second Lotus of Marlon Stockinger.

Behind van Buuren in eighth is Mexican Alfonso Celis Jr from the AVF stable, while Nicholas Latifi qualified ninth for Arden Motorsport ahead of Pietro Fantin of International Draco Racing.

Egor Orudzhev was an early spinner into the same gravel trap that Rowland escaped from, with the young Russian unable to extract himself from the trap, meaning an early conclusion to the session for the Arden Motorsport driver and a P21 slot on the grid.

There was also a red flag to retrieve Beitske Visser’s AVF machine after it stopped on track with just over sixteen minutes of the session remaining.

Red Bull Ring Race 2 Qualifying Result

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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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