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Marinescu sets the early pace in Monza

Thursday, September 27 2012

Mihai Marinescu was best suited to the changing conditions of this morning's (Thursday) opening Formula Two test at Monza, setting the quickest time late in the session when the track was at its best to edge out F2 newcomer Harald Schlegelmilch by a mere 0.022s.

Damp track conditions following overnight rain meant there was little rush to get out on track as the green flag was waved, with the first real lap times not coming until midway through the session but even then were not representative. 

Mihai Marinescu, who recorded his maiden F2 win here 12 months ago, was the initial pace-setter with Markus Pommer, Dino Zamparelli and Latvian debutant Schlegelmilch all looking quick - as was Hungary race winner Alex Fontana competing at his adopted home track.

However, with some drivers preferring to wait for a fully dry track, it wasn't until the final 10 minutes of the 90-minute stint that all of them ventured out leading to a flurry of activity.

With times continuing to tumble, Schlegelmilch was again at the sharp end as the chequered flag came out before 23-year-old Marinescu went top with a 1:40.705s - already a few tenths off last year's pole time. Championship leader Luciano Bacheta went third quickest for the closely fought session, just 0.066s off the top spot, and on course to secure the title crown this weekend, especially with his nearest rival Mathéo Tuscher down in P15.

Christopher Zanella, one of the drivers who went out late, finished fourth ahead of an impressive performance by fifth place Axcil Jefferies. Pommer finished sixth ahead of Hector Hurst and Kevin Mirocha with Zamparelli in ninth despite a trip to the gravel on the exit to the Parabollica in the closing stages. Daniel McKenzie completed the top 10.

Today's second test session gets underway at 11:40 (local time) with full coverage on the official F2 website.

F2 Results: Monza - Test session 1:

1. Mihai Marinescu, 1:40.705s
2. Harald Schlegelmilch, +0.022s   
3. Luciano Bacheta, +0.066s
4. Christopher Zanella, +0.672s 
5. Axcil Jefferies, +0.710s       
6. Markus Pommer, +0.967s   
7. Hector Hurst, +1.046s 
8. Kevin Mirocha, +1.121s
9. Dino Zamparelli, +1.220s      
10. Daniel McKenzie, +1.550s 
11. Alex Fontana, +1.898s
12. Plamen Kralev, +2.243s
13. Max Snegirev, +2.405s
14. David Zhu, +3.274s
15. Mathéo Tuscher, +3.676s