Mirko Bortolotti takes emphatic Spa Formula 2 pole in the rain

Mirko Bortolotti claimed his second Formula 2 pole position of the season with an emphatic display in a wet first qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps

Mirko Bortolotti takes emphatic Spa Formula 2 pole in the rain

The Italian, whose previous pole was followed up by a race win at Silverstone, was the only driver to dip into the 2m33s bracket, leaving him more than 1.3 seconds clear of the rest of the field.

Torrential rain in the morning ensured the track remained wet throughout qualifying, but it gradually improved during the session and Bortolotti took full advantage, waiting until the final 10 minutes to make his charge.

He was the first driver to dip into the 2m34s - which would have been enough for pole - but underlined his dominance by shaving almost 1s off that time as the chequered flag fell.

"It was very tricky and wet out there and very difficult to see through the spray," Bortolotti said. "The race is going to be a long one if the conditions remain the same."

Ramon Pineiro will share the front row with Bortolotti for this afternoon's opening race, the Spaniard moving into second with two minutes of the session remaining.

Alex Brundle, who had been an early pacesetter when conditions were at their worst, will start from third, alongside championship leader Christopher Zanella.

Will Bratt was another driver to enjoy a spell at the top, but the Briton was unable to improve in the final minutes and will start from fifth.

German duo Thiemo Storz and Tobias Hegewald will start from sixth and seventh respectively, with Miki Monras - who won the second race at Silverstone - rounding out the top eight.

Pos Driver Time Gap 1. Mirko Bortolotti 2m33.344s 2. Ramon Pineiro 2m34.742s + 1.398s 3. Alex Brundle 2m34.785s + 1.441s 4. Christopher Zanella 2m35.051s + 1.707s 5. Will Bratt 2m35.125s + 1.781s 6. Thiemo Storz 2m35.741s + 2.397s 7. Tobias Hegewald 2m36.078s + 2.734s 8. Miki Monras 2m36.220s + 2.876s 9. Kelvin Snoeks 2m36.323s + 2.979s 10. Benjamin Lariche 2m36.466s + 3.122s 11. Mihai Marinescu 2m37.232s + 3.888s 12. Jack Clarke 2m37.772s + 4.428s 13. Mikkel Mac 2m38.537s + 5.193s 14. Armaan Ebrahim 2m38.545s + 5.201s 15. Maxim Snegirev 2m38.833s + 5.489s 16. Jordan King 2m39.061s + 5.717s 17. Johannes Theobald 2m39.445s + 6.101s 18. Julian Theobald 2m40.169s + 6.825s 19. James Cole 2m40.258s + 6.914s 20. Jose Luis Abadín 2m43.446s + 10.102s 21. Sunghak Mun 2m45.089s + 11.745s 22. Plamen Kralev 2m45.111s + 11.767s 23. Parthiva Sureshwaren 2m48.519s + 15.175s 
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Monras on top in second F2 practice

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