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Zanella tops morning timesheets in Barcelona

Wednesday, December 14 2011

Christopher Zanella led the way during a closely fought morning session on day two of official Formula Two testing in Barcelona.

The 22-year-old, who finished runner-up to Mirko Bortolotti during this year's F2 season, posted a best time of 1:37.075s late in the first morning stint to edge out nearest rival Romanian Mihai Marinescu by 0.108s.

German Markus Pommer once again impressed to finish third quickest with European F3 Open Champion Alex Fontana in fourth and Edoardo Liberati rounding out the top five in a session which saw the top 10 all lapping within one second of each other.

The day once again began in dry conditions with temperatures slightly higher than yesterday. The F2 paddock also welcomed several new faces with James Cole, who raced in F2 this year securing two top 10 finishes, in place of yesterday's pace-setter Miki Monras, returnee Max Snegirev in for Maxime Jousse and French newcomer Matheo Tuscher replacing Aaron Steele.

As the first session got underway it was Italian Ghirelli who set the early pace with Riccardo Brutschin, Fontana and Daniel McKenzie all looking quick too. Two red flags towards the end of the session though hampered many drivers who had opted to start a run on new tyres with Alex Craven and Sasha Radola the drivers finding the gravel trap.

Marinescu had also looked quick for the opening session but it was Zanella who secured the honours closely followed by the 22-year-old Romanian with Pommer, Fontana and Italian Liberati completing the top five.

Zanella again led the way early in the second session with Marinescu, Brutschin and Hector Hurst all following closely. As the session continued 19-year-old Hurst, who raced in Formula Renault BARC this year, found his stride putting in consistent lap times to be running in the top three.

Ghirelli then moved into the top five followed by two-time McLaren Autosport Award finalist Malvern with the 22-year-old continuing to improve after running an impressive eighth fastest yesterday.

Snoeks and Fontana also gain ground too but the session belonged to Zanella although by a mere 0.017s with Marinescu, Malvern Ghirelli and Snoeks completing the front-runners.

Testing continues this afternoon with full coverage available on www.formulatwo.com.

Barcelona winter testing, day two morning results:

1. Christopher Zanella, 1:37.075s
2. Mihai Marinescu, +0.108s
3. Markus Pommer, +0.229s
4. Alex Fontana, +0.258s
5. Edoardo Liberati, +0.304s
6. Riccardo Brutschin, +0.351s
7. Daniel McKenzie, +0.403s
8. Kelvin Snoeks, +0.499s
9. Vittorio Ghirelli, +0.500s
10. James Cole, +0.668s