Markus Pommer set the early pace during today's (Thursday) opening FIA Formula Two test session at a wet Portimão circuit.
The session marked the first opportunity for drivers to sample the new wet Yokohama tyres with the 21-year-old German posting a best time of 1:49.798s as the rain began to ease and the track dried out. He was closely followed by Swiss teenager Mathéo Tuscher and Dino Zamparelli.
2011 F2 runner-up Christopher Zanella was the session's early pace-setter lapping in the high 1:51s followed by Hector Hurst, Pommer and Mihai Marinescu who secured a best of fourth when F2 was last here in 2010.
By the halfway stage it was Pommer leading from Zanella and Hurst and the first to break into the 1:50s as the sun now started to break through the clouds. The German then went even quicker as he crept into the 1:49s with Marinescu now in second ahead of Pole Kevin Mirocha.
In the closing stages, Tuscher then put in a lap good enough for P2, 0.178s adrift of Pommer, followed by Zamparelli and dropping Marinescu to fourth with Mirocha in fifth.
Brit Daniel McKenzie finished sixth as he re-familiarised himself with the 4.648km layout ahead of Zanella and Chinese racer David Zhu. Plamen Kralev and double podium finisher Alex Fontana completed the top 10. Meanwhile current championship leader Luciano Bacheta, who celebrates his 22nd birthday today, could only manage a best of 12th.
The session also saw two new F2 drivers take to the track in Brazilian Victor Guerin and Russian Max Snegirev, the latter returning to the series after a promising 2011 campaign.
The next test session gets underway at 11:00 (local time) with full coverage on the F2 website.
F2 Results: Portugal test - session 1:
1. Markus Pommer, 1:49.798s
2. Mathéo Tuscher, +0.178s
3. Dino Zamparelli, +0.567s
4. Mihai Marinescu, +0.653s
5. Kevin Mirocha, +0.867s
6. Daniel McKenzie, +1.144s
7. Christopher Zanella, +1.347s
8. David Zhu, +1.409s
9. Plamen Kralev, +1.562s
10. Alex Fontana, +1.616s