Rowland grabs pole for Le Mans opener

Oliver Rowland secured another pole position, his sixth of the 2015 Formula Renault 3.5 Series season and third in a row, around the Bugatti circuit at Le Mans on Saturday.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed Fortec Motorsports driver was at the bottom of the timing screens early on having had his quick lap deleted for exceeding track limits, recovered after a red flag period to clear up an incident involving Beitske Visser to secure top spot ahead of SMP Racing-backed Arden Motorsport driver Egor Orudzhev.

Just 0.049s separated the top two in Rowland’s favour, while Matthieu Vaxiviere was just 0.034s further back in third for Lotus. Vaxiviere needs to claw back some points in the race to stop Rowland all-but clinching the title.

It will be an all-French second row of the grid, with Vaxiviere being joined by Tom Dillmann, who finished the session in fourth for Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, while Strakka Racing’s Tio Ellinas placed fifth ahead of Red Bull-backed DAMS driver Dean Stoneman.

The second DAMS of McLaren Junior Driver Nyck de Vries was eighth, and was sandwiched between the two Tech 1 Racing drivers; Roy Nissany was seventh and Aurélien Panis ninth, while Gustav Malja completed the top ten in the second Strakka Racing entry.

Le Mans Race 1 Qualifying Result

14Oliver RowlandGBRFortec Motorsports1m21.002s
26Egor OrudzhevRUSArden Motorsport1m21.051s
39Matthieu VaxiviereFRALotus1m21.085s
426Tom DillmannFRAJagonya Ayam with Carlin1m21.208s
511Tio EllinasCYPStrakka Racing1m21.282s
62Dean StonemanGBRDAMS1m21.363s
717Roy NissanyISRTech 1 Racing1m21.571s
81Nyck de VriesNEDDAMS1m21.675s
918Aurelien PanisFRATech 1 Racing1m21.690s
1012Gustav MaljaSWEStrakka Racing1m21.762s
1139Yu KanamaruJAPPons Racing1m21.906s
1219Andre NegraoBRZInternational Draco Racing1m22.006s
1315Alfonso Celis JrMEXAVF1m22.027s
145Nicholas LatifiCANArden Motorsport1m22.120s
153Jazeman JaafarMALFortec Motorsports1m22.185s
1625Sean GelaelINOJagonya Ayam with Carlin1m22.306s
1710Marlon StockingerPHILotus1m22.527s
1840Nikita ZlobinRUSPons Racing1m23.479s
1916Beitske VisserNEDAVF1m32.151s