Mihai Marinescu and Christopher Zanella - Photo Credit: Formula Two

Marinescu and Zanella dice it out for the lead of Race Two - Photo Credit: Formula Two

Luciano Bacheta's unbeaten start to the FIA Formula Two Championship came to an end at the third race weekend of the season at the Nurburgring, where Mihai Marinescu and Christopher Zanella ignited their title bids with a race win each.

Third-year driver Marinescu claimed pole position for the opening encounter on Saturday, with the Romanian racer holding the lead at the start while Bacheta kept a fast-starting Kevin Mirocha at bay in second.

Marinescu opened up a lead of more than three seconds over Bacheta over the 20 laps to score his second F2 race win.

Zanella completed the podium in third after climbing up from sixth. First he got past Brit Daniel McKenzie, who had a slow start from third. Zanella then caught and passed fellow Swiss driver Matheo Tuscher on the pit straight before passing Mirocha for third just afterwards at turn two.

Behind Mirocha and Tuscher, Alex Fontana was sixth, Chinese driver David Zhu seventh with McKenzie slipping back to eighth. Home racer Markus Pommer could only manage ninth, with Hector Hurst in tenth.

Sunday saw Zanella take pole position, but he lost his race lead to Marinescu at the start of lap three through turns two and three.

Zanella returned the favour to regain the lead in the closing stages, opening up a three second lead before crossing the line to score his first F2 victory since the second round of the 2011 season at Magny-Cours.

Teen sensation Tuscher had a quiet drive to third place, while Pommer was fourth ahead of Fontana. Bacheta endured his most difficult race yet this season, clinging onto sixth under pressure from fellow Brit Dino Zamparelli, who made up three places from his starting slot of tenth. McKenzie, Zhu and Mirocha rounded out the points.

The start of the second race had been delayed after Zimbabwean debutant Axcil Jefferies' car caught fire, with more than just his tyres getting hot on the warm-up lap.

Zanella has taken second place in the points from Tuscher, 44 points adrift of Bacheta. The fourth race weekend of the season takes place at Spa-Francorchamps on 22-24 June.