Mihai Marinescu

Romanian to start P1 ahead of Zanella and Pommer

Mihai Marinescu will start from pole for today’s (Sunday) second Formula Two race at Brands Hatch after a superb late lap secured him his third front-row start of the season.

The 23-year-old Romanian just pipped Christopher Zanella by a mere 0.034s on a bright, dry track to record a best time of 1:14.171s – the fastest lap for an F2 car around the 2.3-mile Grand Prix circuit. Meanwhile, German Markus Pommer made up for his bad luck in yesterday’s opening qualifying session to secure third. He was followed by Dino Zamparelli who picked up his best ever starting position with fourth, qualifying as the top Brit, with yesterday’s race-winner Kevin Mirocha in fifth – the two also recording exactly the same time.

Blue skies greeted drivers for the 30-minute session in which they can use their overboost, increasing power output of the Williams designed F2 car to 500bhp. Championship leader Luciano Bacheta was the early pace-setter and already a second under Mirko Bortolotti’s pole time from last year. Zanella, Marinescu and Mirocha were all looking likely pole contenders as was Mathéo Tuscher who led the way at the halfway stage.

After pitting for fresh rubber, it was Zanella who went top lapping in the low 1:14s while Tuscher sat in the pits having used all his boost. That left the door open for Marinescu who went top in the closing stages while Tuscher had to settle for seventh, although will start on fresher tyres, with Max Snegirev in sixth.

Brit Bacheta couldn’t replicate his usual high standards to finish eighth ahead of Alex Fontana and Hector Hurst, who celebrates his 20th birthday today.

Speaking afterwards Marinescu said: “Yesterday was quite difficult in the rain. It was difficult to see from the spray of the cars in front but now everything is sorted and it was quite okay. I felt good in the race and I had the fastest lap. I am happy it is dry but wet would have been a good choice as well. It is a tricky pole position but I think it is going to be okay, I have no fears about it. I just put the power down and go!”

Today’s second F2 race gets underway at 14:50 (local time) with full coverage on the official F2 website.

F2 Results: Brands Hatch – Qualifying 1:

1. Mihai Marinescu, 1:14.171s
2. Christopher Zanella, +0.034s
3. Markus Pommer, +0.366s
4. Dino Zamparelli, +0.541s
5. Kevin Mirocha, +0.541s
6. Max Snegirev, +0.550s
7. Mathéo Tuscher, +0.569s
8. Luciano Bacheta, +0.585s
9. Alex Fontana, +0.806s
10. Hector Hurst, +0.875s
11. Plamen Kralev, +1.209s
12. Daniel McKenzie, +1.463s
13. Kourosh Khani, +1.741s
14. Axcil Jefferies, +1.796s
15. David Zhu, +1.866s
16. Mauro Calamia, +1.901s