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As the chequered flag fell on the first day of Formula Renault 3.5 testing, it was Fortec Motorsport's Oliver Rowland who ended the day fastest.

The championship rookie posted a new lap record around Motorland, Aragon, a 1:38.522 to surpass the benchmark of 1:38.976 set by Raffaele Marciello during the last test in November 2013. Rowland set the fastest time with fifteen minutes remaining - his time would not be beaten.

The Briton's one-lap pace was closely matched by his fellow rookie and newly-signed Red Bull Junior, Pierre Gasly who was just three tenths-of-a-second behind. The Frenchman, who was crowned Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup champion last year, was also quicker than Marciello's pace but could not catch Rowland.

Indeed, the first day of testing saw Fortec Motorsports dominate; Sauber test driver, Sergey Sirotkin set the early pace in the morning session but would end the day third fastest overall. Similarly, AV Formula's latest signing, Zoel Amberg, put his FR3.5 experience to good use in the morning but was unable to reproduce these times; the Swiss driver was placed eleventh.

Pietro Fantin was a surprise edition to the top five; the Brazilian was able to push his International Draco Racing model up to fourth despite an inconsistent 2013. Jazeman Jaafar, Carlos Sainz, Matias Laine, Norman Nato, Luca Ghiotto and William Buller completed the top ten.

The standard has now been set by Rowland as the three day test continues.



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