Aragon F3.5: Orudzhev beats Deletraz to pole by 0.013s
Arden driver Egor Orudzhev edged Fortec debutant Louis Deletraz in the Formula 3.5 season-opening qualifying session at Motorland Aragon.
Orudzhev was the first driver to dip into the 1m40s laptimes in the session, albeit his benchmark was still off the FP1 pace set by Deletraz.
Despite that, nobody would match the Russian Arden driver during the first run of laps, fellow pre-season favourites Deletraz, Tom Dillmann and Matthieu Vaxiviere emerging as his closest rivals three tenths adrift.
After a mid-session lull as the field fitted new tyres, Deletraz responded with a lap of 1m40.807s to go a tenth clear of Orudzhev.
However, the Russian retook the spot almost immediately, recording a 1m40.731s, with Dillmann slotting in in second place, the trio split by a tenth.
With less than two minutes left, the pendulum swung back in Deletraz's favour, the Renault junior making a statement with a lap of 1m40.341s.
However, just as qualifying looked settled - and with Deletraz starting another lap with a session-best sector - Orudzhev went 0.013s quicker, which proved enough for pole as his Swiss rival failed to improve.
Dillmann took third, ahead of Yu Kanamaru, moving up the order with a last-gasp lap.
Rene Binder and Beitske Visser made up row three, ahead of Deletraz's teammate Pietro Fittipaldi, Force India protege Alfonso Celis and Orudzhev's squadmate Aurelien Panis.
SMP driver Vaxiviere, who took a maiden FR3.5 win at the track last year, was only 10th.
|1||Egor Orudzhev||Arden Motorsport||1:40.328|
|2||Louis Deletraz||Fortec Motorsports||1:40.341||0.013|
|4||Yu Kanamaru||Teo Martin Motorsport||1:40.526||0.198|
|6||Beitske Visser||Teo Martin Motorsport||1:40.803||0.475|
|7||Pietro Fittipaldi||Fortec Motorsports||1:40.855||0.527|
|9||Aurelien Panis||Arden Motorsport||1:41.039||0.711|
|10||Matthieu Vaxiviere||SMP Racing||1:41.109||0.781|
|12||Johnny Cecotto||RP Motorsport||1:41.397||1.069|
|13||Vitor Baptista||RP Motorsport||1:41.577||1.249|
|14||Matevos Isaakyan||SMP Racing||1:41.733||1.405|
|15||Giuseppe Cipriani||Durango Racing Team||1:46.396||6.068|
Formula V8 3.5 preview: The dawning of a new era
Aragon F3.5: Deletraz dominates as Orudzhev crashes