Markus Pommer took his first FIA Formula Two Championship victory with a commanding drive in the first race at Spa-Francorchamps, as championship leader Luciano Bacheta was wiped out in a first lap crash on the Kemmel Straight.
German driver Pommer was unchallenged throughout, crossing the finish line five seconds ahead of Daniel McKenzie.
“The weekend started really good with the test where we found a really good set up, and I put everything together in the qualifying and for the race I got a good start and was able to hold onto my lead,” said Pommer. “My plan was to stay in the middle on the first corner because there’s good traction and although it’s not easy it worked well.”
McKenzie said: “I got an ok start and was able to get alongside Markus but I did get a bit too much wheel spin. I thought I could have made a move on Markus but I was worried I could lose out on the exit of Turn 1 and lost more places so it wasn’t the best option.
“I struggled quite badly with wheel vibration on the first lap or two as well, and it just got worst throughout the race so I wasn’t sure of the grip levels. We’ve got a good car for the wet should it rain tomorrow as per the forecast, so I’m feeling confident we can do well.”
Exiting Radillon for the first time, Kevin Mirocha looked for a way past Mihai Marinescu for third place, but was forced onto the grass by the Romanian. He spun, with Bacheta also ending up in the barriers as he tried to avoid the Polish driver.
Marinescu then came under pressure from 15-year-old Matheo Tuscher, who got by after taking to the grass and then banging wheels with Marinescu under braking at Les Combes.
“It was difficult trying to get past Mihai as the track is not as wide as others but I tried to go around the outside the first time but he blocked me so I tried the other side and he again blocked me,” said Tuscher, who has moved back up to second in the standings with the result.
“Then he lost a bit of time through Eau Rouge and I boost just after that and was able to take him on the inside of Les Combes. I did and push to catch McKenzie after that but he was a bit too far ahead.
“I’m always thinking about the championship as points mean prizes but I know I have to try and keep my position in the standings and take points from Bacheta because he’s a long way in front now.”
Marinescu finished fourth ahead of Christopher Zanella, while Vittorio Ghirelli enjoyed a quiet run to sixth on his debut.
Dino Zamparelli took seventh place, ahead of Alex Fontana who recovered from dropping to the back of the pack on the opening lap. Hector Hurst and David Zhu completed the top ten after starting 16th and 18th respectively.
1. Markus Pommer, 17 laps
2. Daniel McKenzie, +5.291s
3. MathÃ©o Tuscher, +7.276s
4. Mihai Marinescu, +8.192s
5. Christopher Zanella, +17.254s
6. Vittorio Ghirelli, +23.219s
7. Dino Zamparelli, +27.941s
8. Alex Fontana, +28.681s
9. Hector Hurst, +40.918s
10. David Zhu, +45.570s
11. Parthiva Sureshwaren, +45.816s
12. Mauro Calamia, +56.262
13. Plamen Kralev, +1:07.345s
14. Axcil Jefferies, DNF
15. Kourosh Khani, DNF
16. Max Snegirev, DNF
17. Kevin Mirocha, DNF
18. Luciano Bacheta, DNF