Markus Pommer storms to maiden Spa pole
Markus Pommer put in a superb late lap to storm to his maiden pole during today's (Saturday) closely-fought Formula Two qualifying session at Spa.
The 21-year-old German waited until the closing stages to post a blistering 2:04.623s to edge out Daniel McKenzie, who had held the top spot for much of the 30-minute session, by a mere 0.050s, with Mihai Marinescu securing third.
Only a handful of drivers chose to take to the dry 7.004km track early on with McKenzie electing to take advantage of the rubber laid down by the previous session, with his best lap already half a second up on yesterday's top practice time. Pommer and Marinescu were both looking strong just behind him before the session was halted following a spin by David Zhu at Turn 14.
On fresh rubber, Christopher Zanella was one of the first out after the restart and was up to fifth with Brit Luciano Bacheta in second followed by Kevin Mirocha and Pommer. Newcomer Vittorio Ghirelli also looked strong in P6, a position he held until the checkered flag.
With 10 minutes remaining, Matheo Tuscher, Alex Fontana and Dino Zamparelli had yet to set a competitive lap with McKenzie's early effort still the target to beat. Tuscher's first flying lap saw him go P3 but it was Pommer who was able to eclipse the Brit's time to take the honors. McKenzie shuffled down to P2 ahead of Marinescu with Mirocha fourth and Tuscher's gamble only rewarding him P5.
Championship leader Bacheta could only manage seventh, his worst qualifying result to date, ahead of Swiss driver Fontana. Zanella finished P9 despite looking quick yesterday with Parthiva Sureshwaren picking up a career best qualifying performance in 10th.
Following his big impact at Eau Rouge yesterday, Kourosh Khani was back in the car - which had been rebuilt late into the night thanks to the hard work of the dedicated F2 mechanics - with the Iranian finishing P17.
Speaking about his first F2 pole Pommer said: "It feels fantastic, the car was perfect. We ran with two sets of tires. The first set was to make one good and safe lap and for the second run we decided to go for it and everything went good and now I'm confident for the race."
Today's first race (round seven) gets underway at 14:00 (local time) with full coverage, including live web streaming, on the F2 website.
F2 Results: Spa - Qualifying 1:
1. Markus Pommer, 2:04.623s
2. Daniel McKenzie, +0.050s
3. Mihai Marinescu, +0.173s
4. Kevin Mirocha, +0.188s
5. Matheo Tuscher, +0.310s
6. Vittorio Ghirelli, +0.413s
7. Luciano Bacheta, +0.472s
8. Alex Fontana, +0.613s
9. Christopher Zanella, +0.624s
10. Parthiva Sureshwaren, +0.954s
11. Dino Zamparelli, +0.954s
12. Plamen Kralev, +1.463s
13. Mauro Calamia, +1.519s
14. Axcil Jefferies, +1.804s
15. Max Snegirev, +1.819s
16. Hector Hurst, +1.850s
17. Kourosh Khani, +2.604s
18. David Zhu, +2.637s