Strakka Racing’s Tio Ellinas topped the first session of Formula Renault 3.5 track action ahead of round five at Spielberg.
Ellinas handily prevailed in what was a test held instead of the two customary Friday practices, with another session set to kick off the Saturday programme before qualifying.
While Ellinas held the top spot for most of the test’s second half, improvements in the last minutes were so drastic that Pons signing Meindert van Buuren took over at the top in the final minutes, only to be then shuffled down to ninth.
With Ellinas in first, Pietro Fantin was closest, a tenth and a half off, while championship leader Oliver Rowland led Tom Dillmann in third.
Roy Nissany was fifth, ahead of van Buuren’s teammate Roberto Merhi, with Jazeman Jaafar and Alfonso Celis also clearing the Dutchman.
Gustav Malja, who bagged a podium finish in FR3.5’s most recent outing at the Hungaroring, took tenth.
Newcomer Louis Deletraz finished penultimate, joining what was a highly unusual bottom four that was headed by Mathieu Vaxiviere and also featured Arden teammates Nicholas Latifi and Egor Orudzhev.
|1||Tio Ellinas||Strakka Racing||1:18.222||26|
|2||Pietro Fantin||International Draco Racing||1:18.368||0.146||29|
|3||Oliver Rowland||Fortec Motorsports||1:18.424||0.202||26|
|4||Tom Dillmann||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||1:18.504||0.282||26|
|5||Roy Nissany||Tech 1 Racing||1:18.587||0.365||27|
|6||Roberto Merhi||Pons Racing||1:18.665||0.443||24|
|7||Jazeman Jaafar||Fortec Motorsports||1:18.850||0.628||27|
|9||Meindert van Buuren||Pons Racing||1:18.899||0.677||28|
|10||Gustav Malja||Strakka Racing||1:18.998||0.776||25|
|12||Sean Gelael||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||1:19.114||0.892||26|
|15||Nyck de Vries||DAMS||1:19.405||1.183||25|
|16||Bruno Bonifacio||International Draco Racing||1:19.616||1.394||28|
|17||Aurelien Panis||Tech 1 Racing||1:19.746||1.524||27|
|19||Nicholas Latifi||Arden Motorsport||1:20.030||1.808||25|
|20||Louis Deletraz||Comtec Racing||1:20.757||2.535||26|
|21||Egor Orudzhev||Arden Motorsport||1:20.852||2.630||26|