Ellinas takes Le Mans race two pole as Rowland struggles

by Paul Hensby

Tio Ellinas secured pole position for race two around the Bugatti circuit of Le Mans ahead of Matthieu Vaxiviere, but Oliver Rowland could only qualify fourteenth on the day he could secure the Formula Renault 3.5 Series title.

Rowland only needs one point over the next three races to clinch the championship, but the Racing Steps Foundation-backed Briton can also take the crown should Vaxiviere fail to take victory this afternoon.

Ellinas got the better of Vaxiviere during qualifying on Sunday however, with the Strakka Racing driver setting a time of 1m20.648s, beating the Lotus driver by 0.349s.

Tom Dillmann followed up his podium finish during Saturday’s race to claim third place on the grid for Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, and will be joined on row two by the impressive Aurélien Panis of Tech 1 Racing, meaning all three French drivers on the grid start inside the top four.

Race one’s runner up Egor Orudzhev will start fifth for Arden Motorsport, missing out on fourth by just 0.009s, while Dean Stoneman just got the better of DAMS team-mate Nyck de Vries for sixth.

Jazeman Jaafar was eighth quickest for Fortec Motorsports, with Arden Motorsport’s Nicholas Latifi and AVF’s Alfonso Celis Jr completing the top ten.

Rowland could only qualify fourteenth for race two in the second Fortec Motorsports entry, ending over 1.2s back of the pole time of Ellinas despite having dominated proceedings on Saturday.

The session was affected by an early red flag when Andre Negrao dropped some fluid onto the circuit from his International Draco Racing machine.

Le Mans Race 2 Qualifying Result

111Tio EllinasCYPStrakka Racing1m20.648s
29Matthieu VaxiviereFRALotus1m20.997s
326Tom DillmannFRAJagonya Ayam with Carlin1m21.121s
418Aurelien PanisFRATech 1 Racing1m21.204s
56Egor OrudzhevRUSArden Motorsport1m21.213s
62Dean StonemanGBRDAMS1m21.331s
71Nyck de VriesNEDDAMS1m21.344s
83Jazeman JaafarMALFortec Motorsports1m21.425s
95Nicholas LatifiCANArden Motorsport1m21.604s
1015Alfonso Celis JrMEXAVF1m21.650s
1110Marlon StockingerPHILotus1m21.684s
1217Roy NissanyISRTech 1 Racing1m21.826s
1312Gustav MaljaSWEStrakka Racing1m21.847s
144Oliver RowlandGBRFortec Motorsports1m21.867s
1516Beitske VisserNEDAVF1m21.934s
1625Sean GelaelINOJagonya Ayam with Carlin1m22.213s
1739Yu KanamaruJAPPons Racing1m22.452s
1840Nikita ZlobinRUSPons Racing1m22.472s
1919Andre NegraoBRZInternational Draco RacingNo Time

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