Home pole for Strakka as Ellinas beats Vaxiviere

Tio Ellinas grabbed a home pole position for the Strakka Racing team at Silverstone in an exciting first qualifying session of the weekend for the Formula Renault 3.5 Series.

The Cypriot racer was quick throughout, and with the track getting faster and faster following overnight rain left the track damp, Ellinas hit the top with a lap of 1m41.858s to grab the pole.

The session was red-flagged early when series returnee Nick Yelloly spun his Lotus into the Luffield gravel trap, moments after Tech 1 Racing’s Roy Nissany stopped on track at Becketts.

On resumption, times began to tumble, and many drivers found their way to the top of the timing screens, with championship contender Matthieu Vaxiviere getting closest to Ellinas’ time, ending 0.236s adrift in his Lotus.

Championship leader Oliver Rowland looked set to take pole midway through the session, but slipped to third in his Fortec Motorsports entry, while his team-mate Jazeman Jaafar will join the Brit on the second row, with just 0.004s separating them in qualifying.

Pietro Fantin continued his good practice form with a fifth place qualifying slot for International Draco Racing, just ahead of the leading Jagonya Ayam with Carlin machine of Frenchman Tom Dillmann, while Nicholas Latifi of Arden Motorsport and Nyck de Vries of DAMS will start on row four.

Aurélien Panis was ninth quickest for Tech 1 Racing but is under investigation for exceeding track limits, while Gustav Malja qualified tenth in the second Strakka Racing entry.

Dean Stoneman was only eleventh in the Red Bull-backed DAMS machine, being displaced a number of positions in the closing seconds of the session after sitting second behind Ellinas for a while.

Neither Yelloly and Nissany set a time and will therefore start at the back of the grid, just behind the two Pons Racing entries, with Will Bratt, racing a single seater for the first time since 2011, out-qualifying team-mate Philo Paz Patric Armand.

Silverstone Race 1 Qualifying Result

111Tio EllinasCYPStrakka Racing1m41.858s
29Matthieu VaxiviereFRALotus1m42.094s
34Oliver RowlandGBRFortec Motorsports1m42.184s
43Jazeman JaafarMALFortec Motorsports1m42.188s
519Pietro FantinBRZInternational Draco Racing1m42.324s
626Tom DillmannFRAJagonya Ayam with Carlin1m42.343s
75Nicholas LatifiCANArden Motorsport1m42.487s
81Nyck de VriesNEDDAMS1m42.500s
918Aurelien PanisFRATech 1 Racing1m42.514s
1012Gustav MaljaSWEStrakka Racing1m42.519s
112Dean StonemanGBRDAMS1m42.524s
126Egor OrudzhevRUSArden Motorsport1m42.773s
1316Beitske VisserNEDAVF1m43.104s
1425Sean GelaelINOJagonya Ayam with Carlin1m43.380s
1520Bruno BonifacioBRZInternational Draco Racing1m43.494s
1615Alfonso Celis JrMEXAVF1m45.545s
1740Will BrattGBRPons Racing1m45.806s
1839Philo Paz Patric ArmandINOPons Racing1m46.030s
1910Nick YellolyGBRLotusNo Time
2017Roy NissanyISRTech 1 RacingNo Time