Tio Ellinas (Strakka Racing) posted best time of the collective test held on Friday at the Red Bull Ring. The Cypriot stopped the clock in 1:18.222 to lead from Pietro Fantin (International Draco Racing) and Oliver Rowland (Fortec Motorsports). Quickest rookie on the day, Israel’s Roy Nissany (Tech 1 Racing) rounded out the top five. A second session dominated by the Red Bull Junior Team member Dean Stoneman (DAMS) was held Saturday before the two qualifying sessions to set the grid for the two Sunday races.
Leader in the general classification, Rowland took the pole position for race one on Sunday with a time of 1:17.641. The Racing Steps Foundation protégé led from the returning Marlon Stockinger (Lotus) and his closest championship rival, Vaxiviere (Lotus). The Frenchman in the Lotus F1 Junior Team then grabbed the pole for race two by dominating the second qualifying session with a bet time of 1:18.160 ahead of Manor F1 driver, Roberto Merhi (Pons Racing) and Rowland.
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Rowland dominated Sunday’s race one in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. The poleman-backed driver started from pole position and kept his cool despite two safety car periods to take an eight-second win from the highest place rookie, Dean Stoneman, while third on the podium, Nyck de Vries (DAMS) crossed the line 15 seconds after the Englishman. With his fourth win of the year, Oliver Rowland then had a 33 point lead over sixth-place finisher Vaxiviere.
Vaxiviere then scored his third success this year in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. Starting from pole, the Lotus F1 Team Junior protégé conserved the lead to win race 2 on the day, ahead of Rowland and rookie Nissany, who strode on to the podium for the first time in the category.
Leader at the mid-way point of the season, Rowland is now 26 points clear of Vaxiviere. The Englishman has also won the right to star in the Infiniti Red Bull Racing F1 Show at the wheel of the Red Bull RB8 at the next World Series by Renault meeting at Silverstone on 5 and 6 September.
Provisional general classification: 1. O. Rowland – 166 points, 2. M. Vaxiviere – 140, 3. J. Jaafar – 90, 4. D. Stoneman – 86, 5. N. de Vries – 71…
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