Saturday, 25 June 2011 07:00
Mirko Bortolotti delivered a masterclass in wet weather driving at Spa to qualify on pole position for this afternoon's first Formula Two race.
The Italian set a time 1.398 seconds faster than Spaniard Ramon Pineiro with 20 year old Alex Brundle third.
The session was affected heavily by rain, with relentless conditions making this already challenging circuit all the more demanding.
21 year old Bortolotti topped the leaderboard late in the session, grabbing provisional pole with five minutes remaining with a time that would have secured pole anyway, before setting another time with just moments remaining that almost doubled his margin to Pineiro in second place.
Despite the conditions there were few incidents on track, although Johannes Theobald made contact with the wall in the final minute of the session.
Provisional pole was traded regularly throughout the session, with championship leader Christopher Zanella, Will Bratt and Brundle all taking their turn at the top.
Zanella eventually had to settle for fourth, with Bratt fifth, and Thiemo Storz showing well in sixth place.
Tobias Hegewald, who dominated here in 2009 secured seventh on the grid, with Miki Monras, Kelvin Snoeks and Benjamin Lariche rounding out the top ten.
Speaking afterwards, Bortolotti said: "It was very tricky and wet out there and very difficult to see through the spray.
The track did get dryer though as the session went on. We had a good set up and I'm pleased to be on pole and I’m looking forward to the race, which is going to be a long one if the conditions remain the same."
Spa, qualifying one results:
1. Mirko Bortolotti, 2m33.344s
2. Ramon Pineiro, +1.398s
3. Alex Brundle, +1.441s
4. Christopher Zanella, +1.707s
5. Will Bratt, +1.781s
6. Thiemo Storz, +2.397s
7. Tobias Hegewald, +2.734s
8. Miki Monras, +2.876s
9. Kelvin Snoeks, +2.979s
10. Benjamin Lariche, +3.122s
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