Tuscher Steals Race 2 Pole Before Hailstorm In Portimao

Matheo Tuscher - Photo Credit: Formula Two
Tuscher will be aiming for a maiden F2 win - Photo Credit: Formula Two

Matheo Tuscher claimed pole position for the second FIA Formula Two Championship race at Portimao, after getting a fast lap in during a dryer period at the start of a qualifying session hit by a sudden hailstorm.

The 15-year-old Swiss ace had finished just three tenths behind winner Luciano Bacheta in Saturday's race. Today he got his lap in early on in damp but bright conditions, before the sudden downpour brought the red flags out. The session restarted with 20 minutes to go, with only a few drivers able to improve.

“When we first went out it was just to get a feeling for the track but then I saw the dark clouds and I knew I had to push before the rain came,” said Tuscher. “There was a bit of luck involved and it was probably the strangest qualifying session I have ever done – you just couldn’t see anything. I was pretty scared! We only went out again to help with the set-up for the race.”

Tuscher's compatriot Christopher Zanella finished up in second, 0.453 seconds off pole. Bacheta was a further three tenths behind in third, as he chases a fourth win from as many races so far this season.

German Markus Pommer was down in 16th before the stoppage, but put in a good enough lap after the restart to edge out Dino Zamparelli for fourth place by just one thousandth of a second.

Brazilian debutant Victor Guerin took sixth place, ahead of Saturday's third-place finisher Kevin Mirocha. Mihai Marinescu was eighth, just ahead of Brits Hector Hurst and Daniel McKenzie.