Home News Stoneman denies Vaxiviere to top final pre-season FR3.5 running

Stoneman denies Vaxiviere to top final pre-season FR3.5 running

by Peter Allen
Dean Stoneman

Photo: GEPA pictures/Dutch Photo Agency

Dean Stoneman put an end to Matthieu Vaxiviere‘s dominance of the Formula Renault 3.5 test in Aragon, beating the Lotus driver to the top spot in the final session of pre-season running.

Vaxiviere – quickest in all three previous sessions at the Spanish circuit this week – was again quickest for much of the afternoon.

However, returning to the track after having a new clutch fitted by his DAMS crew, Stoneman went to P1 inside the final ten minutes with a 1m41.273s.

Beitske Visser held P2 at the chequered flag but had laps deleted for failing a weight check.

That promoted Vaxiviere back up to second, two tenths of a second short of Stoneman’s time. However, the Frenchman’s times of 1m40.635s and 1m40.662s on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning respectively remained the best of the week, and he was the only driver to break below the 1m41s mark.

The second-year driver had arguably been the form man of the winter, topping four of the nine days of official testing since the 2014 season ended, and setting the pace in eight of the 18 half-day sessions.

“For sure it would have been good to continue my streak, but I was out of new tyres for the last session,” he said.

“To put in such a time in the afternoon is all the same excellent. We?ve done a good job with the car, and everything went well this morning. Beyond that, testing remains relative, we now have to see how it goes in the races.”

Title favourite Oliver Rowland held P3 for the third time from this week’s four sessions, just ahead of his new Fortec team-mate Jazeman Jaafar.

Stoneman’s team-mate Nyck de Vries highlighted an otherwise quiet week with fifth place, and just six hundredths of a second off P2.

Half a second back in sixth was Carlin’s Tom Dillmann ahead of Arden man Nicholas Latifi and Draco regular Pietro Fantin. Facu Regalia ended his single day with Zeta this week in ninth with the second Arden driver Egor Orudzhev completing the top ten.

Afternoon session results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Dean Stoneman DAMS 1:41.273 18
2 Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 1:41.474 0.201 34
3 Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 1:41.478 0.205 33
4 Jazeman Jaafar Fortec Motorsports 1:41.521 0.248 37
5 Nyck de Vries DAMS 1:41.534 0.261 28
6 Tom Dillmann Carlin 1:41.803 0.530 35
7 Nicholas Latifi Arden Motorsport 1:41.809 0.536 27
8 Pietro Fantin International Draco Racing 1:41.912 0.639 28
9 Facu Regalia Zeta Corse 1:41.996 0.723 39
10 Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport 1:42.028 0.755 40
11 Gustav Malja Strakka Racing 1:42.143 0.870 23
12 Roberto Merhi Pons Racing 1:42.151 0.878 29
13 Beitske Visser AVF 1:42.196 0.923 39
14 Tio Ellinas Strakka Racing 1:42.256 0.983 25
15 Meindert van Buuren Lotus 1:42.326 1.053 27
16 Alfonso Celis AVF 1:42.452 1.179 34
17 Bruno Bonifacio International Draco Racing 1:42.479 1.206 31
18 Roy Nissany Tech 1 Racing 1:42.491 1.218 42
19 Aurelien Panis Tech 1 Racing 1:42.840 1.567 41
20 Philo Paz Armand Pons Racing 1:42.898 1.625 29