Brit overcomes changeable weather at Belgian circuit
Luciano Bacheta made the most of Spa's changeable weather conditions to finish on top during Tuesday's official Formula Two test session ahead of rounds seven and eight this weekend.
The 22-year-old championship leader posted a best time of 2:07.463s during the dry second session at the Belgian F1 circuit to finish in front of Alex Fontana by a mere 0.076s. Swiss teenager Mathéo Tuscher finished third overall to continue his impressive start to his debut F2 season which has seen him grace the podium three times in the last four races.
The 18-strong field, including Italian newcomer Vittorio Ghirelli, were greeted with warm, dry conditions as the first session got underway. 2011 F2 runner-up Christopher Zanella was the day's early pace-setter topping the first session with a 2:08.227s. Temperatures were hovering around 18˚C for the second session with the majority of drivers improving on their times. It was Brit Bacheta though who came out best of all surpassing Zanella's previous best by a healthy 0.764s.
In the afternoon, much of the running was hampered by rain with German Markus Pommer topping a tricky third session, which saw just four drivers set a time, with conditions too wet for slicks yet not damp enough for full wets. Mihai Marinescu was quickest in the fourth session ahead of a thrilling fifth and final stint in which drivers could use their overboost.
On a drying 7.004km circuit, Plamen Kralev was the first to switch to slicks, a move which was soon copied by Pommer and Daniel McKenzie. It was a gamble which unfortunately didn't pay off for the Bulgarian with the red flags coming out after he spun at Turn 14. Kralev was still able to end the day fourth fastest though ahead of Zanella and Marinescu with McKenzie in seventh.
Indian racer Parthiva Sureshwaren finished an impressive eighth ahead of Max Snegirev, who endured a sizeable crash at Turn 12 in session four, with Pommer completing the top 10.
Rounds seven and eight at Spa get underway on Friday (22 June) with free practice one beginning at 11:20 (local time). Full coverage of the entire weekend is available on the F2 website with both races shown live and uninterrupted on Motors TV.
F2 Results: Spa test, overall combined results:
1. Luciano Bacheta, 2:07.463s2. Alex Fontana, +0.076s3. Mathéo Tuscher, +0.493s4. Plamen Kralev, +0.750s5. Christopher Zanella, +0.7646. Mihai Marinescu, +1.302s7. Daniel McKenzie, +1.311s8. Parthiva Sureshwaren, +1.406s9. Max Snegirev, +1.682s10. Markus Pommer, +1.843s