Egor Orudzhev remained fastest during Friday practice, leading an improving Matthieu Vaxiviere overall at the ninth and final round of the Formula Renault 3.5 championship at Jerez, Spain.

The Russian's best time - a 1:28.758s set in the morning - was unsurpassable by the afternoon, keeping him top of the order at the end of Friday running. His French opponent Vaxiviere was just one tenth-of-a-second behind for Lotus and fastest in the second sector.

Vaxiviere is already confirmed as the 2015 runner-up after Oliver Rowland's title win ended his championship hopes at Le Mans. It was, however, the 20-year-old who outpaced Rowland over a single flying lap.

Related Articles

The new champion successfully put a disappointing FP1 behind him, replacing his broken wishbone in the process, to secure third fastest for Fortec Motorsports. Beitske Visser and Alfonso Celis Jr made good use of new tyres in FP1, a decision which was ultimately good enough to keep fourth and fifth fastest respectively. A yellow flag was called in the final few moments to aid an ailing Celis Jr but the Mexican's morning time was enough to keep the AVF team mates together on the time sheets.

With warnings of potential debris at the exit to turn 10, Nyck de Vries is in a battle for third in the championship standings and got the better of his rivals on Friday to finish sixth fastest. He led his fellow contenders Tio Ellinas, Tom Dillmann and Jazeman Jaafar to top ten finishes. The Dutchman's team mate, Dean Stoneman, is also vying for third place but settles for 11th after finding himself caught in traffic.

A red flag halted the session with 24 minutes to go. At the restart, Andre Negr?o stalled in the pit lane but was quickly on his way again. The sole International Draco Racing driver of the weekend was 15th for the Brazilian outfit. Meanwhile, Gustav Malja was one of the last to post a competitive lap time and ends the final practice of the year in 14th for Strakka Racing, six tenths down on team mate Ellinas.