Great Britain’s Oliver Rowland (Fortec Motorsports) was too quick for everyone in the final qualifying session of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series season on Sunday. Victorious at the Circuito de Jerez on Saturday, the championship-winning Racing Steps Foundation driver posted a fastest lap of 1:45.903 to sit on pole from Matthieu Vaxiviere (Lotus), the man behind him in the standings, setting up one final duel between the two this season. Third in the points and this year’s leading rookie, Nyck de Vries (DAMS) stole a march on his rivals by beating Egor Orudzhev (Arden Motorsport) to third place. The McLaren Young Driver Development Programme member has the objective of securing second place in the team standings for his stable, with Lotus also in the running for the runners-up slot.
Alfonso Celis (AVF), Yu Kanamaru (Pons Racing) and Nicholas Latifi (Arden Motorsport) made the early running on a damp Jerez track, the Mexican jumping into the lead before the customary mid-session tyre stop.
When the drivers re-emerged, Nyck de Vries (DAMS) was the first to duck under Alfonso Celis’ time. Though the 2014 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 champion then went even quicker, Oliver Rowland (Fortec Motorsports) eventually settled the issue with a lap of 1:45.903, while Matthieu Vaxiviere (Lotus) snuck into second. Completing the top five behind Nyck de Vries were Egor Orudzhev and Alfonso Celis.
The final Formula Renault 3.5 Series race of the 2015 season gets under way at 15:30.