FIA Formula Two Champion Mirko Bortolotti has claimed pole position for the first of the season-ending races at Barcelona, denying locally born drivers Miki Monras and Ramon Pineiro in the process.
Monras set the early pace in the session, while Bortolotti waited for his moment to hit the track. The Italian went out in the middle part of the session, when the track was clear, and moved into P1 with a time that remained good enough for the rest of the session.
“We took a bit of a gamble today by saving one set of new tyres for the race instead of using them during qualifying,” said Bortolotti. “The car felt good though and we felt we just needed one run although hoping we didn’t get a red flag. I thought it might not be enough for pole as Miki has looked quick all weekend but I’m very happy with pole position and I’m looking forward to the race.”
Monras was two tenths slower than Bortolotti in second place, with fellow Barcelona racer Pineiro climbing the timesheets during the session to place third on his 20th birthday.
Practice pacesetter Tobias Hegewald was fourth fastest, ahead of Mihai Marinescu and Christopher Zanella, who this weekend hopes to hold onto second place in the standings under pressure from Pineiro.
Jack Clarke edged out Alex Brundle to be top Brit in seventh, with Mikkel Mac and Benjamin Lariche rounding out the top ten.
The 15th and penultimate race of the season gets underway at 14:25 local time.
Barcelona, qualifying one results:
1. Mirko Bortolotti, 1:37.874s
2. Miki Monras, +0.192s
3. Ramon Pineiro, +0.474s
4. Tobias Hegewald, +0.550s
5. Mihai Marinescu, +0.642s
6. Christopher Zanella, +0.818s
7. Jack Clarke, +0.823s
8. Alex Brundle, +0.851s
9. Mikkel Mac, +0.914s
10. Benjamin Lariche, +1.153s