Fresh from completing a grand slam on Saturday, Oliver Rowland (Fortec Motorsports) continued his superlative run of form by landing his fifth Formula Renault 3.5 Series pole of the season in Sunday’s qualifying at the Nürburgring. The Racing Steps Foundation-backed British driver stopped the clock in 1:40.637 to lead the field from Pietro Fantin (International Draco Racing) and rookie Roy Nissany (Tech 1 Racing). Matthieu Vaxiviere (Lotus), the only driver who can now deny Rowland the title, will start eighth on the grid.
The session began under threatening skies, with Dean Stoneman (DAMS) leading the way after the opening salvos. Tio Ellinas (Strakka Racing) then took to the top before Tom Dillmann (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) unseated him. Emerging last of all from the pits, Matthieu Vaxiviere signalled his intentions by going quickest before championship rival Oliver Rowland bettered his time at the midway point.
After bolting on new tyres, the drivers upped the pace in the closing ten minutes. Though Tom Dillmann dipped under the British driver’s time, the points leader replied with a lap of 1:40.637 to secure pole position yet again. Completing the top five are Pietro Fantin, Roy Nissany, Tom Dillmann and Tio Ellinas, with Matthieu Vaxiviere starting eighth.
Sunday’s Formula Renault 3.5 Series race at the Nürburgring begins at 13:00.
Oliver Rowland: “I had a good car and I put in a good lap. I had a clear run, and it makes all the difference when everything goes well like that. I’m not worried about the start and I’m going to keep my head. As long as I get away well, I shouldn’t have any trouble at the first corner. The way I see it, the people behind me also got a good result and they’ll be keen to hang on to that.”