British driver Luciano Bacheta set the pace during today's (Friday) first Formula Two free practice session at a wet Portimao circuit in Algarve, Portugal.
The 22-year-old posted a best time of 1:39.325s to edge out nearest rival and fellow countryman Dino Zamparelli by just 0.192s with Markus Pommer in third. 2011 F2 runner-up Christopher Zanella finished fourth after setting the early pace with Polish driver Kevin Mirocha completing the top five.
The morning's rain continued to fall as the 45-minute session got underway with Zanella, Bacheta, Pommer and Swiss teenager Matheo Tuscher all looking quick.
As the rain slowly eased, the lap times began to fall before McLaren Autosport Award finalist Zamparelli put in a lap to better Pommer's best wet lap from yesterday's official test session.
Bacheta, who yesterday celebrated his birthday, continued to make the most of the wet conditions to go top with around eight minutes remaining but no was able to better his time.
Tuscher finished just outside the top five ahead of Daniel McKenzie and Mihai Marinescu, who enjoyed a best of fourth when F2 last visited the circuit in 2010. Brazilian newcomer Victor Guerin finished ninth, despite a spin towards the end of the session, with Alex Fontana, who secured a double podium last time out at Silverstone, completing the top 10.
Today's second free practice session gets underway at 13:45 (local time) with full coverage, including live timing, on the F2 website www.formulatwo.com.
1. Luciano Bacheta, 1:49.235s
2. Dino Zamparelli, +0.192s
3. Markus Pommer, +0.417s
4. Christopher Zanella, +0.417s
5. Kevin Mirocha, +0.793s
6. Matheo Tuscher, +1.120s
7. Daniel McKenzie, +1.143s
8. Mihai Marinescu, +1.151s
9. Victor Guerin, +1.322s
10. Alex Fontana, +1.425s