Eighth in the overall standings, Tio Ellinas (Strakka Racing) claimed his first pole of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series season at Silverstone on Saturday morning, the Cypriot posting a lap of 1:41.858 to head the grid from championship frontrunners Matthieu Vaxiviere (Lotus) and Oliver Rowland (Fortec Motorsports). Jazeman Jaafar (Fortec Motorsports) and Pietro Fantin (International Draco Racing) rounded off the top five.

Qualifying began on a damp track and was soon brought to a halt to allow the cars of Nyck Yelloly (Lotus) and Roy Nissany (Tech 1 Racing) to be removed. The times began to tumble on the restart, with Pietro Fantin out front ahead of the compulsory stop for new tyres.

The second half of the session began with Alfonso Celis (AVF) coming to a stop without causing a fresh interruption. Pietro Fantin retained his lead until four minutes from the end, when Tio Ellinas ducked past him. Despite the best efforts of the rest of the field, the Cypriot held on to land his maiden Formula Renault 3.5 Series pole with a time of 1:41.858, with Matthieu Vaxiviere, Oliver Rowland, Jazeman Jaafar and Pietro Fantin completing the leading quintet.

Saturday’s Formula Renault 3.5 Series at Silverstone gets under way at 12:30 local time.

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