Pourchaire tops Formula 2 pre-season testing

Theo Pourchaire was fastest in Day 1 of Formula 2 pre-season testing in Bahrain

Theo Pourchaire was fastest on Day 1 of Formula 2 pre-season testing in Bahrain

Alfa Romeo Sauber junior, Theo Pourchaire, has ended the opening day of Formula 2 pre-season testing fastest in Bahrain.

Driving for ART Grand Prix, Pourchaire topped the day’s two sessions with his best of 1:42.165s coming in the afternoon.

That contrasted against a 1:45.226s in the morning, highlighting a steep improvement in conditions.

Richard Verschoor was second quickest while Jack Doohan was seventh for Virtuosi Racing.

The Australian chalked up 39 laps in the second session, the most of the 22 runners on track.

He had only managed 20 in the first hit out as he ended that just 21st fastest – better only than team-mate Amaury Cordeel.

As running in Bahrain commenced, Jehan Daruvala proved fastest out of the box, though it was Ralph Boschung who was the first to bank a representative time – a 1:45.652s.

Times then remained largely stable until the final 90 minutes of the session, with Daruvala banking a time just under 0.1s quicker than Boschung’s marker.

Pourchaire’s best came in the final half hour to leave him 0.348s clear of the pack at the luncheon interval.

Verschoor was fastest as running resumed with a 1:46.083s ahead of Doohan before times tumbled as the sun set.

That saw Enzo Fittipaldi and Zane Maloney appear at the top of the timing screens before Clement Novalak and Verschoor both usurped them.

At the midway point of the session, Dennis Hauger proved fastest as the first driver to break into the 1:44 bracket, before Daruvala improved to 1:44.249s.

That stood until Pourchaire managed his best of the day inside the final hour of running.

The day ran largely without interruption save a stoppage late in proceedings for Frederik Vesti and another in the latter stages of the morning for Maloney.

The Formula 2 field is poised for two further days of testing in Bahrain before returning to the venue for its opening event of the season, which is in conjunction with Round 1 of the Formula 1 season, from March 2-5.

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