Luciano Bacheta completed a double victory on home soil at the FIA Formula Two Championship season opener, with another penultimate lap pass for the lead of race two.
Bacheta had qualified third but got the jump on second-placed Alex Fontana at the start of the race. At the midway point in the race he began closing on polesitter Mihai Marinescu, cutting the gap from 1.1 seconds on lap nine to just 0.4s on lap 11.
Marinescu responded to open the gap up again slightly in the subsequent laps, but Bacheta fought back and used the boost to pass the Romanian driver into Brooklands on lap 20 of 21. He took the checkered flag a lap later with a gap of 1.1s to complete a perfect start to his season.
“The experience from yesterday definitely helped,” said Bacheta. “I was just biding my time. I pushed a lot harder in the beginning than I wanted to just to stay in a second of Mihai all the time. He was so quick. He didn’t put a tyre wrong. And it was tough to keep up.
“I kept chipping away then the gap levelled. I was saving the boost for the final stages but in the end I didn’t have to use it. I used it on the last but one lap at Brooklands. Mihai was looking in the mirror knowing I had the boost. We still need to work a little bit on our qualifying pace but I’m happy with our race pace and I couldn’t have asked for a better two results.”
Fontana finished six seconds back in third to repeat his result from race one on his debut weekend in F2 after winning the European F3 Open title in 2011.
Ex-GP2 racer and last minute entrant Kevin Mirocha made a good start from sixth to the race to take fourth place from Daniel McKenzie. A mistake on lap seven however saw the Polish driver drop back behind McKenzie and teenager Matheo Tuscher, before losing one place each to Dino Zamparelli, Christopher Zanella and Markus Pommer on each of the subsequent laps. He lost two further spots to David Zhu and Hector Hurst on the next lap, to finish down in 11th.
Pommer got past Zanella at Luffield on lap 13, allowing him to finish seventh behind fellow series debutants McKenzie, Tuscher and Zamparelli. Zhu finished right behind 2011 series runner-up Zanella in ninth, with Hurst claiming the final point in tenth.
Bacheta's double win gives him a perfect score of 50 points, 20 ahead of Marinescu and Fontana who are tied for second place. The next round takes place at the Algarve circuit in Portugal on 27-29 April.