Luciano Bacheta really seems to like repeating himself! At Silverstone, he took two victories by overtaking in the penultimate lap. At Portimao, he has taken two more, each time by holding off Matheo Tuscher to the end of the race. 15-year-old Tuscher took pole for the second time this season, starting next to his compatriot Christopher Zanella. The youngster made a good start, but was unable to hold back Bacheta who had powered from third to first in three corners. Behind, Zanella was forced into a battle with Pommer. This held both drivers up, allowing the battle for first and second to creep away from the field.
The gap never reached a second, with Tuscher always on Bacheta’s tail. The Comma-backed driver had made some poor setup choices (not too poor, mind you!) and struggled to get away from the Swiss driver and his car Bruce (named after Bruce Lee). All the way to the penultimate lap they fought, when a momentary lapse in concentration perhaps caused by some tyre smoke from Bacheta made Tuscher go wide. From there, it was plain sailing for Formula Two’s four-time race winner. Never before has the same driver won four races in a row in the series.
Zanella eventually lost his battle, and fell back for a lonely drive to fourth. Dino Zamparelli had a hearty battle with Hurst, and came out on top for fifth. Just as yesterday, it was a close battle for the final points positions, and McKenzie finished sixth, Hurst seventh, Mirocha eighth having fallen behind despite battling well, and Guerin ninth.
An early race incident sent Alex Fontana and David Zhu to the back with Parthiva Sureshwaren and Plamen Kralev, as Kourosh Khani became the weekend’s first retirement. Marinescu has a mechanical issue. Snegirev and Sureshwaren both span off in the final laps. Fontana took the final point ahead of Mauro Calamia. Zhu finished some way back, and Kralev was a minute behind Bacheta.
The next F2 event will be at the Nurburgring, in the final weekend of May. This is the same weekend as the Monaco GP and the Indy 500.
Dario Franchitti will have been happier with today’s race in Sao Paolo than he has been previously this season. He was running up front all the way, competing with his rival Will Power. Eventually the Scot finished fifth. Power, however, dominated from pole and held his lead despite numerous cautions to take his third consecutive victory. Ryan Hunter-Reay came second, while in third was Takuma Sato. Sato had started second-last after engine trouble saw him miss qualifying, but he worked his way admirably through the field to take his best finish yet. Oriol Servia once again did Lotus proud by being their only finisher on the lead lap.
The next IndyCar event is the Indy 500, which will be on the same day as the Monaco GP and the F2 at the Nurburgring.