Mirko Bortolotti scored a commanding win in the first FIA Formula Two Championship race of the weekend at the Nurburgring.
The championship leader made a good start from pole position, as Jack Clarke and Christopher Zanella made flying starts from sixth and seventh on the grid to move up to second and third respectively.
Zanella soon got past Clarke and went after Bortolotti, but the Italian controlled his advantage and then extended it to take the checkered flag with a gap of 6.7 seconds over the Swiss driver.
“Very happy with that win and the guys did a very good job,” said Bortolotti. “I got a good start and also opening lap. That was a special win for me as it’s my first ever time at the Nurburgring so it’s a big thing for me to win on my first visit. I’m already looking forward to tomorrow.”
Zanella said: “I had a great first lap where I was able to overtake five cars. I then tried to stay with Bortolotti but it was not possible so I was happy with second place which is very good for me. I’m still not happy with my pace so we need to work on that for tomorrow.”
Clarke had a queue of cars lining up behind him, led by front row starter Mihai Marinescu. The Romanian soon ended his race in the gravel trap though. Next in the train were Alex Brundle and Will Bratt, but they came together at the final corner, putting Brundle out of the race and dropping Bratt down the order.
Ramon Pineiro was running behind the British pair at the start of the race, but he was handed a drive-through penalty for not lining up in the right place on the grid. All this allowed Miki Monras to move up to fourth place to challenge Clarke, with Jordan King right behind.
Clarke held onto his podium place though from Monras. King ended in a lonely fifth, ahead of Kelvin Snoeks and Bratt. Mikkel Mac finished in eighth with Thiemo Storz and Johannes Theobald rounding out the points finishers.
1. Mirko Bortolotti, 20 Laps
2. Christopher Zanella, +6.705s
3. Jack Clarke, +15.068s
4. Miki Monras, + 16.535s
5. Jordan King, +27.425s
6. Kelvin Snoeks, +32.115s
7. Will Bratt, +37.178s
8. Mikkel Mac, +37.757s
9. Thiemo Storz, +38.384s
10. Johannes Theobald, +42.267s