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
|1||4||Oliver Rowland||GBR||Fortec Motorsports||1m21.002s|
|2||6||Egor Orudzhev||RUS||Arden Motorsport||1m21.051s|
|4||26||Tom Dillmann||FRA||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||1m21.208s|
|5||11||Tio Ellinas||CYP||Strakka Racing||1m21.282s|
|7||17||Roy Nissany||ISR||Tech 1 Racing||1m21.571s|
|8||1||Nyck de Vries||NED||DAMS||1m21.675s|
|9||18||Aurelien Panis||FRA||Tech 1 Racing||1m21.690s|
|10||12||Gustav Malja||SWE||Strakka Racing||1m21.762s|
|11||39||Yu Kanamaru||JAP||Pons Racing||1m21.906s|
|12||19||Andre Negrao||BRZ||International Draco Racing||1m22.006s|
|13||15||Alfonso Celis Jr||MEX||AVF||1m22.027s|
|14||5||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Arden Motorsport||1m22.120s|
|15||3||Jazeman Jaafar||MAL||Fortec Motorsports||1m22.185s|
|16||25||Sean Gelael||INO||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||1m22.306s|
|18||40||Nikita Zlobin||RUS||Pons Racing||1m23.479s|