Luciano Bacheta fends off Matheo Tuscher at Algarve to maintain unbeaten Formula 2 run

Luciano Bacheta took his third Formula 2 victory of the season at Algarve, but his win was anything but straight forward

Luciano Bacheta fends off Matheo Tuscher at Algarve to maintain unbeaten Formula 2 run

Starting from pole, Bacheta held the lead at the start, but fellow front-row man Markus Pommer had far too much wheelspin allowing Matheo Tuscher, Kevin Mirocha and David Zhu past.

Tuscher was only one second behind Bacheta for the entirety of the race, and in the final few laps brought the gap down to take advantage of the new for 2012 'boost zones', where the drivers can use an extra 75bhp if they are within one second of the driver in front. Bacheta just had enough to hang on, crossing the line just three tenths ahead of his young challenger.

As Bacheta and Tuscher pulled away, Kevin Mirocha had a "very lonely and boring race" to third position and his first F2 podium.

Zhu and Pommer engaged in a thrilling battle for fourth, with the Chinese driver defending expertly to keep the quicker Pommer behind him for most of the race, before the issue was forced into Turn 1.

An entertaining battle behind developed, with eight drivers ultimately squabbling over sixth position. In the end, Christopher Zanella held the position when his main challenger Mihai Marinescu spun out of contention after a half-hearted attempt at a pass into the first corner.

Race 1 Results - 22 laps:  Pos Driver Time/Gap 1. Luciano Bacheta 35m19.878s 2. Mathéo Tuscher + 0m309s 3. Kevin Mirocha + 16m307s 4. Markus Pommer + 19m801s 5. David Zhu + 24m106s 6. C.Zanella + 27m176s 7. Alex Fontana + 37m164s 8. Dino Zamparelli + 40m465s 9. Hector Hurst + 40m965s 10. Mihai Marinescu + 41m366s 11. Victor Guerin + 42m260s 12. Mauro Calamia + 42m797s 13. Daniel McKenzie + 43m311s 14. Kourosh Khani + 43m703s 15. Plamen Kralev + 49m179s 16. P.Sureshwaren + 50m177s 17. Maxim Snegirev + 1m00.983s 
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Luciano Bacheta seals first F2 pole in first Algarve qualifying

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