Aurelien Panis will start the first Formula V8 3.5 race of the weekend at Spa-Francorchamps from pole position after original pace setter Matthieu Vaxiviere was excluded.

Vaxiviere, a runner-up in 2015 and pre-season title favourite for the revised FV8 series, has endured a difficult start to his campaign but showed glimmers of recovery by sweeping to a comfortable pole position around the Belgian venue.

However, post-qualifying scrutineering would reveal an issue with the SMP car, with Vaxiviere's times being deleted to place him at the back of the grid.

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As such, Arden driver Panis will get away from the top spot, with Egor Orudzhev alongside him, ahead of former GP2 driver Rene Binder and championship leader Tom Dillmann