Matthieu Vaxiviere took pole position for the opening race of the Formula V8 3.5 series weekend at Paul Ricard.
The Frenchman set a best time of 1:49.087 to deny Roy Nissany the pole, and after the disappointment of losing the pole at Spa Francorchamps due to circumstances out of his control, will lead the field away on Saturday afternoon around the circuit on the south of France. It also marks the first pole position for his SMP Racing squad.
Nissany was 0.170 seconds back in second for Lotus, with the Israeli driver looking to claim his maiden victory in the championship after claiming his maiden podium finish at the Hungaroring earlier this season.
Friday pace setter Egor Orudzhev could only qualify third for Arden Motorsport, a further 0.069 seconds back on Nissany, while Rene Binder made it a good qualifying session for the Charouz-run Lotus team by taking fourth.
Louis Deletraz was the best placed rookie in fifth for Fortec Motorsports ahead of Arden Motorsports’ Aurélien Panis, while championship leader Tom Dillmann was only seventh for AVF, 0.917 seconds off the pole time of Vaxiviere.
Yu Kanamaru was the best placed of the Teo Martin Motorsport drivers in eighth with team-mate Beitske Visser tenth, with the duo either side of RP Motorsport’s Vitor Baptista.
Paul Ricard Race 1 Qualifying Result
|1||23||Matthieu Vaxiviere||FRA||SMP Racing||1:49.087|
|3||7||Egor Orudzhev||RUS||Arden Motorsport||1:49.326|
|5||1||Louis Deletraz||SWI||Fortec Motorsports||1:49.610|
|6||8||Aurelien Panis||FRA||Arden Motorsport||1:49.944|
|8||25||Yu Kanamaru||JAP||Teo Martin Motorsport||1:50.080|
|9||22||Vitor Baptista||BRZ||RP Motorsport||1:50.145|
|10||6||Beitske Visser||NED||Teo Martin Motorsport||1:50.176|
|11||15||Alfonso Celis Jr||MEX||AVF||1:50.234|
|12||26||Matevos Isaakyan||RUS||SMP Racing||1:50.287|
|13||2||Pietro Fittipaldi||BRZ||Fortec Motorsports||1:50.290|
|14||21||Artur Janosz||POL||RP Motorsport||1:51.118|
|15||20||Giuseppe Cipriani||ITA||Durango Racing Team||1:54.670|