German driver fastest during closely fought session ahead of Pineiro and Bortolotti
Tobias Hegewald qualified on pole for today’s (Saturday) opening FIA Formula Two race at Brands Hatch after a closely fought session which saw the top 13 cars sepearated by less than a second.
The German 22-year-old, who is currently fifth in the championship, posted his best time towards the end of the thrilling session to fend off Spaniard Ramon Pineiro and Mirko Bortolotti.
Thiemo Storz had posted the fastest time in the 30-minute session before Korean driver Sunghak Mun spun exiting Paddock Hill Bend, bringing out an early red flag.
Many of the drivers then took the opportunity to pit and change onto fresh tyres before taking to the track once more.
With 12 minutes remaining, the British drivers then started to come good with Alex Brundle going fastest, despite damaging his car during second free practice, with a 1:16.599s. Surrey-racer Jack Clarke then bettered it to go top, although only by a mere 0.014s.
That wasn’t to last long though as 21-year-old Bortolotti hit the top of the timesheets going ahead of Clarke before his session was brought to an early close after contact with Alex Brundle.
19-year-old Pineiro though then beat his time with five minutes left to go before Hegewald moved ahead shortly after to clinch pole with a 1:16.199s. Pineiro secured second with Bortolotti third.
Jack Clarke finished an impressive fourth for his home event with Brundle fifth and Mihai Marinescu sixth. However, the Romanian will move down five places on the grid for the race following his penalty from yesterday for not respecting red flags. Meanwhile Miki Monras qualified seventh, with Benjamin Lariche, Christopher Zanella and Max Snegirev completing the top 10.
Commenting afterwards Tobias said: “I really like the circuit it has a lot of fast corners and it was one of my most fun qualifying laps. I was struggling a little bit in qualifying at the start of the season and I couldn’t get the best out of the new tyres. I have been fourth, fifth or sixth so it has been difficult to get a good position in the race. I think I’ve found a good way to use the tyres.”
Race one gets underway at 1:50pm (local time) with full coverage, including live streaming, available on the official F2 website.
Brands Hatch, qualifying one results:
1. Tobias Hegewald, +1:16.199s
2. Ramon Pineiro, +0.109s
3. Mirko Bortolotti, +0.112s
4. Jack Clarke, +0.145s
5. Alex Brundle, +0.360s
6. Mihai Marinescu, +0.392s
7. Miki Monras, +0.442s
8. Benjamin Lariche, +0.482s
9. Christopher Zanella, +0.590s
10. Max Snegirev, +0.648s