Home News Vaxiviere claims pole for FR3.5 race one at Spa

Vaxiviere claims pole for FR3.5 race one at Spa

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
Photo: Frederic Le Floch / DPPI / Renault Sport Media

Photo: Frederic Le Floch / DPPI / Renault Sport Media

Lotus driver Matthieu Vaxiviere stormed to his second pole in Formula Renault 3.5 in Saturday qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps.

Vaxiviere, who also topped practice yesterday, had missed the Spa round last year due to injury and will be making his FR3.5 Spa debut from first on the grid.

Joining him on front row is Beitske Visser, the Dutch driver recording her personal best qualifying effort in the series.

Aragon winners Oliver Rowland and Vaxiviere were the first two drivers to go below the mark set in practice, with the Frenchman edging ahead by the halfway point in the session.

The drivers were set to head out on new tyres with ten minutes to go, but a red flag caused by Egor Orudzhev going off on the outlap postponed the shootout.

And when the session was restarted, the outlaps began again, only for another red flag to be brought out for Tom Dillmann.

Finally, qualifying resumed for good with eight minutes to go but it took until the final 60 seconds for Vaxiviere to be dethroned – by championship leader Jazeman Jaafar.

However, the Frenchman quickly responded, his new lap enough to secure pole position.

Having spent much of the session in the top five, Visser moved up to second at the checkered flag, with Nicholas Latifi following her into the top three.

Fortec duo Jaafar and Rowland did not improve on their final efforts and had to do with fourth and fifth respectively.

Second with less than a minute to go, Nyck de Vries wound up sixth, ahead of Tio Ellinas and teammate Dean Stoneman.

Roberto Merhi qualified ninth, while Meindert van Buuren recovered from missing the first half of the session to claim tenth. The Dutchman, however, will give up the row five starting spot to Gustav Malja due to a penalty for colliding with Bruno Bonifacio at Monaco.

UPDATE: Beitske Visser has been sent to the back of the grid as her car’s floor did not conform to the regulations. Latifi is promoted to the front row.

Qualifying results
Pos. Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 1:58.768 11
2 Nicholas Latifi Arden Motorsport 1:58.987 0.219 12
3 Jazeman Jaafar Fortec Motorsports 1:59.001 0.233 12
4 Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 1:59.111 0.343 11
5 Nyck de Vries DAMS 1:59.312 0.544 14
6 Tio Ellinas Strakka Racing 1:59.325 0.557 13
7 Dean Stoneman DAMS 1:59.481 0.713 13
8 Roberto Merhi Pons Racing 1:59.560 0.792 12
9 Gustav Malja Strakka Racing 1:59.648 0.880 13
10 Aurelien Panis Tech 1 Racing 1:59.690 0.922 13
11 Pietro Fantin International Draco Racing 1:59.960 1.192 12
12 Alfonso Celis AVF 2:00.000 1.232 12
13 Bruno Bonifacio International Draco Racing 2:00.330 1.562 13
14 Tom Dillmann Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 2:00.368 1.600 6
15 Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport 2:00.558 1.790 7
16 Patric Armand Pons Racing 2:00.662 1.894 12
17 Sean Gelael Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 2:01.010 2.242 11
18 Roy Nissany Tech 1 Racing 2:01.558 2.790 11
19* Meindert van Buuren Lotus 1:59.632 0.864 5
EX Beitske Visser AVF 1:58.893 0.125 13

* – ten-place grid penalty