26 September 2015
FR3.5 Le Mans: Vaxiviere not solely focused on title battle
His main title rival, Oliver Rowland, will hold a fifty point advantage before lining up for his sixth pole of the season.
Matthieu Vaxiviere has insisted that he is not thinking about the Formula Renault 3.5 championship fight as he looks to prevent Oliver Rowland from winning at the series' eighth round at Le Mans.
Racing in front of his home crowd this weekend, Vaxiviere qualified third, joining compatriot Tom Dillmann for an all-French second row. His main title rival, Oliver Rowland, will hold a fifty point advantage before lining up for his sixth pole of the season.
The 20-year-old must score points if he is to prevent his British rival from winning the championship this afternoon. Bertrand Baguette was the last man to win the FR3.5 title at the penultimate round when he eclipsed Fairuz Fauzy back in 2009. Despite the pressure on his performance this weekend, Vaxiviere insisted to Crash.net that he is still focused on each individual race.
"I do not think about the championship," he said at Le Mans. "I just make my own race, I would really like to win both races and I would obviously like to win the championship after that."
With Rowland just in front of him at start, the young Frenchman will have the Fortec Motorsports challenger in his sights. This, however, will not deter him from the job at hand. While his 23-year-old rival has been considered the championship favourite all year, the young Frenchman has surpassed expectations to become his lead challenger with Czech team, Lotus.
"When it comes to it, I will need to check where he is and if he is in front of me but not yet," he continued. "For sure he is a good driver. He is quick and now, this year, he is also consistent but we will see."
As for what the championship win would mean to the home favourite, Vaxiviere remained coy. In what is to be his final season in FR3.5, as he begins his search for pastures new after Jerez in October, he admits that winning would feel surreal.
"I don't think about what the championship would mean for me at the moment," he insisted. "If I win, I don't think I will properly realise as I am so focused on putting in my best effort every time."
Vaxiviere has secured three wins thus far with his last coming at the Red Bull Ring in July. He will face a tough barrier in the form of rookie Egor Orudzhev whose Arden Motorsport model will separate the Frenchman and pole man Rowland on the grid.
FR3.5 race one begins at 13:30CET.
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