FIA Formula Two newcomer Markus Pommer led the way in the official pre-season test held today at Silverstone.
The German driver, who makes the step up from German F3 this season, set the fastest time in both the morning sessions at the British track. He saved his best until last though, recording the day's quickest time in the fourth and final session.
“The car has felt fantastic all day and we've hardly had to make any changes,” said 21-year-old Pommer. “The morning times were really good and we could have gone quicker but we didn't want to push too hard too soon.
“During the third session we used worn tyres and concentrated on longer, race runs which went really well and the tyres didn't drop off at all. The final overboost session was really good too and I'm feeling confident for the season ahead.”
Pommer was 0.375 seconds clear of the rest of the field, with returning Romanian Mihai Marinescu second fastest in both the final session and the day as a whole. Luciano Bacheta was third fastest.
2011 series runner-up Christopher Zanella ended the day in fourth place, his best time coming from the day's opening session where he was P2, just 0.012 shy of Pommer in an extremely close session that saw him, Bacheta and Marinescu all within a tenth of the pace.
The reigning Formula Pilota China champion Matheo Tuscher finished the day an impressive fifth fastest, one place ahead of fellow Swiss racer Alex Fontana. European Formula 3 Open champion Fontana was the only man to interrupt Pommer's stranglehold on P1 by setting the pace in the third session.
Iran's Kourosh Khani also placed well on his first appearance at an official F2 test, having been fourth quickest in the third session before setting his best time in the final session to end seventh overall.
That put him ahead of ex-Formula Renault 3.5 driver Daniel McKenzie and Dean Stoneman – who made a welcome return to the championship he won in 2010 before being diagnosed with testicular cancer. Stoneman's result of the day was fifth, where he ended both the second and third sessions.
Zimbabwe's Axcil Jefferies was competitive on his debut, finishing the day in tenth overall. The returning James Cole was next up, ahead of fellow Brits Hector Hurst and Dino Zamparelli. Hurst had been fourth fastest in the second session of the day, with Zamparelli going third fastest in session three.
F2, Silverstone test results – Combined times:
1. Markus Pommer, 1:48.272s
2. Mihai Marinescu, +0.375s
3. Luciano Bacheta, +0.410s
4. Christopher Zanella, +0.584s
5. Matheo Tuscher, +0.786s
6. Alex Fontana, +0.842s
7. Kourosh Khani, +0.947s
8. Daniel McKenzie, +1.033s
9. Dean Stoneman, +1.077s
10. Axcil Jefferies, +1.265s
11. James Cole, +1.314s
12. Hector Hurst, +1.331s
13. Dino Zamparelli, +1.516s
14. Plamen Kralev, +1.596s
15. Parthiva Sureshwaren, +1.842s
16. David Zhu, +1.937s
17. Jose Luis Abadin, +2.003s
18. Mauro Calamia, +2.673s