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Bortolotti storms to pole for F2 race two

Sunday, August 28 2011

Mirko Bortolotti secured pole position for today's (Sunday) second FIA Formula Two race at the Red Bull Ring after setting the fastest lap of the weekend so far.

The Austro-Italian set a time of 1:20.536s, 0.3 seconds clear of championship rival Christopher Zanella who put in a last gasp time to go second, despite spinning early in the session. Yesterday's race winner Ramon Pineiro will start third.

For the first time this weekend the drivers were greeted with less searing temperatures as the 30-minute session got underway in dry but cloudy conditions. Bortolotti was the first driver to lead the way lapping in the 1min 22s with Alex Brundle, Mihai Marinescu, Pineiro and Zanella all looking quick.

By the halfway stage, all of the field had pitted for fresh tyres before returning to the 4.3km Austrian track to set their fastest time with the overboost facility enabled.

Brundle again looked strong leading from Tobias Hegewald as the leader spot then began to change constantly. Korean driver Sunghak Mun was also running in the top 10 along with Russian Max Snegirev.

Spaniard Miki Monras, who unfortunately failed to finish in yesterday's race after receiving contact from Mikkel Mac, then went top but it was 21-year-old title leader Bortolotti who stamped his authority to claim his sixth pole.

In the last few moments, Pineiro and Marinescu had looked to have secured second and third respectively until a last surge by Zanella, who had been 19th at one stage, saw him edge his way into P2 with Pineiro in third and Marinescu having to settle for  fourth.

Hegewald, who also had a disappointing race one, claimed fifth spot ahead of a career best sixth from Snegirev with Monras settling for seventh. Dutchman Kelvin Snoeks claimed eighth spot with Benjamin Lariche, who has looked strong all weekend, in ninth and Brit Alex Brundle completing the top 10.

Speaking afterwards Bortolotti said: "Obviously I'm really happy, it was a really good session for us. The lap was really good and I think it was the maximum for this car on this track to be honest with the boost. The lap was really good and I'm very happy about pole position and starting on the first row again but this time on the clean side of the track though so it should be good and I'm looking forward to the race."

Today's second race (round 12) at the Red Bull Ring gets underway at 14:45 (local time) with full coverage on the official F2 website.

Results, Red Bull Ring, Qualifying two:

1. Mirko Bortolotti, 1:20.536s
2. Christopher Zanella, +0.355s
3. Ramon Pineiro, +0.395s
4. Mihai Marinescu, +0.557s
5. Tobias Hegewald, +0.797s
6. Max Snegirev, +0.962s
7. Miki Monras, +1.016s
8. Kelvin Snoeks, +1.168s
9. Benjamin Lariche, +1.176s
10. Alex Brundle, +1.206s

Click here to download the full classification.