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Mihai Marinescu ends closely fought Portimão test on top

Thursday, April 26 2012

Mihai Marinescu headed the timesheets by just 0.001s during today's (Thursday) fiercely contested final Formula Two test session at Portimão, which saw the top 13 drivers lapping inside one second.

The 23-year-old Romanian just edged out Kevin Mirocha with a best time of 1:33.871s, with current championship leader Luciano Bacheta third and Markus Pommer, who topped the day's previous three sessions, in fourth.

The sun continued to shine for the last 55-minute stint where drivers were able to use their overboost - increasing the power output of the Williams designed F2 car to 500bhp.

Christopher Zanella began strongly to set the early pace in the high 1:35s with Pommer continuing his strong run as was Bacheta, celebrating his 22nd birthday. After a brief stoppage following debris on track, the session resumed with the times continuing to fall and the top spot constantly swapping.

Pommer then broke into the 1:33s closely followed by Marinescu and Bacheta with still 25 minutes of the session left to play out. The Romanian then went even quicker followed by Mirocha with the Polish racer lapping an incredible 0.001s adrift with the top four drivers separated by one tenth of a second.

A second red flag, caused by Victor Guerin entering the gravel, then disrupted the session with five minutes remaining.  In the final stages, no one could better Marinescu's pace with his best time 1.322s quicker than the pole from 2010.

Indian racer Parthiva Sureshwaren enjoyed one of his best performances in fifth with Swiss teenager Mathéo Tuscher and Plamen Kralev seventh, the latter also securing one of his best results. Alex Fontana, David Zhu and Hector Hurst completed the top 10 ahead of tomorrow's first free practice session which gets underway at 10:10 (local time).

F2 Results: Portugal test - session 4:

1. Mihai Marinescu, 1:33.871s
2. Kevin Mirocha, +0.001s 
3. Luciano Bacheta, +0.078s
4. Markus Pommer, +0.099s
5. Parthiva Sureshwaren, +0.422s
6. Mathéo Tuscher, +0.460s
7. Plamen Kralev, +0.606s
8. Alex Fontana, +0.615s
9. David Zhu, +0.689s
10. Hector Hurst, +0.766s

11) DM 12) CZ 13) DZ 14) MC 15) MS 16) VG 17) KK