FIA Formula Two Championship leader Mirko Bortolotti continued his fine form by posting the quickest time in the first free practice session at Brands Hatch. The Italian ended the session more than seven tenths clear of his nearest rival.
Alex Brundle was quickest when the session got underway, though proceedings were soon brought to a halt when Ramon Pineiro spun his newly-fluorescently-liveried car on the Cooper Straight, bringing out the red flag.
Once the session got underway again Brundle improved his time, followed by Mihai Marinescu and Tobias Hegewald. Bortolotti then went quickest, before the session was interrupted again when James Cole went off at Westfield.
Bortolotti continued to improve his times during the remainder of the session, being the only man to go below the 1m18s barrier. The session ended with Jack Clarke in second place, 0.730s behind Bortolotti. He was just ahead of Hegewald and Max Snegirev, who used his experience of the Brands Hatch circuit from his British F3 times to go fourth quickest.
Marinescu ended up fifth quickest, the last man within a second of Bortolotti's time. Brundle was sixth, ahead of Jordan King. Miki Monras was eighth with Kelvin Snoeks ninth and Cole tenth after recovering from his off.
Bortolotti's chief championship rival Christopher Zanella could only manage 18th quickest, 2.230s down.
Free practice one results:
1. Mirko Bortolotti, 1:17.352s
2. Jack Clarke, +0.730s
3. Tobias Hegewald, +0.745s
4. Max Snegirev, +0.829s
5. Mihai Marinescu, +0.937s
6. Alex Brundle, +1.063s
7. Jordan King, +1.212s
8. Miki Monras, +1.278s
9. Kelvin Snoeks, +1.294s
10. James Cole, +1.351s