Race two of the opening weekend for the FIA Formula Two Championship will see twenty year old Austrian Philipp Eng start on pole position after a frantic second qualifying session.
The early running of the second session was set by the front row drivers for the first race, Brit Jolyon Palmer and Danish driver Johan Jokinen with fellow Brits Jack Clarke and Dean Stoneman in close company.
Six minutes into the thirty minute session, Russian driver Sergey Afanasiev went fastest round Silverstone, before Clarke took the top spot away from the rapid Russian.
Just before the half way point of the session, over half the field were sitting in the pits – and the fastest sector times made good reading for British fans as Stoneman, Palmer and Clarke held the fastest times.
With fourteen minutes left, Jokinen and Eng took to the track on new rubber, and did their out lap at a steady pace to engineer some room for themselves. The times start to plummet as Jokinen took a second off his best time to snatch pole, while Eng, who at the time was down in twenty first position was still finding room for himself.
Jokinen wasn't resting on his laurels and carried on at a relentless pace trying to better his best time once more.
With six minutes left, it looked like Jokinen could have been on for his first F2 pole in his first F2 weekend; Clarke soon put pay to that as he flew to the top of the times, then Eng took his chance to claim top spot. As Eng took top spot, his biggest threats, Dean Stoneman and Palmer were on good laps but they didn't set a time good enough to better Eng's and he took his first pole position of the season.
Stoneman lost out on the chance to better Eng's 1:36.992 after a lock up at Abbey meant he couldn't improve and had to settle for third on the grid.
The top eight drivers were covered by half a second while a second covered the top twelve drivers.
Speaking after the thirty minute session, a delighted pole sitter said: “I think I used the boost quite cleverly and that helped me do the best time of the session. At times in Q1 the time difference was quite big so I wasn’t happy, but I obviously improved from first to second qualifying. Now I am in a good position, and with two good starts I have a good chance in both races.”
Behind the top three, Clarke made it three Brits in the top four and increased the possibility of an all British podium to please the home fans. Jokinen ended the session fifth, with Tom Gladdis in sixth, Will Bratt made it five Brits inside the top seven, with Russian Afanasiev, Lithuanian Kazim Vasiliauskas ninth and Romanian Mihai Marinescu rounding out the top ten.
Top Ten Times From Qualifying Session Two:
- Philipp Eng 1:36.992
- Jolyon Palmer +0.020s
- Dean Stoneman +0.104s
- Jack Clarke +0.205s
- Johan Jokinen +0.250s
- Tom Gladdis +0.428s
- Will Bratt +0.447s
- Sergey Afanasiev +0.594s
- Kazim Vasiliauskas +0.782s
- Mihai Marinescu +0.897s