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Markus Pommer sprints to maiden F2 victory at Spa

Saturday, June 23 2012

Markus Pommer drove a superb and controlled race to convert his maiden Formula Two pole into his first series win during today's (Saturday) round seven at Spa.

The 21-year-old German made a great start as the lights went out to lead from fellow front-row starter Daniel McKenzie and never once looked trouble, building a lead of more than five seconds as he crossed the line.

McKenzie endured a relatively trouble-free race to hold on to his second place with the Brit unable to close the gap, despite starting on a fresh set of tyres compared to Pommer's used ones. The final podium spot went to Mathéo Tuscher with the Swiss teenager working his way up from fifth after finally getting past a very defensive Mihai Marinescu midway through the race on the inside of Les Combes. The result gives the 15-year-old his fourth podium from five races, moving him up to second in the drivers' standings.

The opening lap saw plenty of drama just behind the top three when Marinescu forced Kevin Mirocha onto the grass coming out of Radillon, causing the Polish driver to spin in front of the rest of the pack on the Kemmel straight. As the chasing drivers tried to avoid him, championship leader Luciano Bacheta went into the barrier ending his race and giving the Brit his first non points finish of the season.

Marinescu went on to finish fourth ahead of Christopher Zanella who had a relatively straightforward drive to fifth place from ninth on the grid. Italian newcomer Vittorio Ghirelli impressed to hold onto his sixth spot for his maiden points score with Alex Fontana making a great recovery drive to end eighth after dropping to the back of the field after the first lap incident.

Hector Hurst and David Zhu equally made up substantial ground with the two starting 16th and 18th respectively and crossing the line in ninth and 10th places to complete the top 10 of a thrilling opening race at the Belgian F1 track.
Speaking afterwards a delighted Pommer said: "The weekend started really good with the test where we found a really good set up, and I put everything together in the qualifying and for the race I got a good start and was able to hold onto my lead. My plan was to stay in the middle on the first corner because there's good traction and although it's not easy it worked well."

Tomorrow's second qualifying session gets underway at 10:05 (local time) with full coverage on the F2 website.

F2 Results: Spa - Race 1:

1. Markus Pommer, 17 laps
 2. Daniel McKenzie, +5.291s
 3. Mathéo Tuscher, +7.276s
 4. Mihai Marinescu, +8.192s 
 5. Christopher Zanella, +17.254s
 6. Vittorio Ghirelli, +23.219s 
 7. Dino Zamparelli, +27.941s
 8. Alex Fontana, +28.681s
 9. Hector Hurst, +40.918s
 10. David Zhu, +45.570s
 11. Parthiva Sureshwaren, +45.816s
 12. Mauro Calamia, +56.262s
 13. Plamen Kralev, +1:07.345s
 14. Axcil Jefferies, DNF
 15. Kourosh Khani, DNF
 16. Max Snegirev, DNF 
 17. Kevin Mirocha, DNF
 18. Luciano Bacheta, DNF