Brit Jolyon Palmer led the way in the second qualifying session for Race 2 of the FIA Formula Two Championship in PortimÃ£o to claim his fifth pole position of the season.
It was fellow Brit Dean Stoneman who set the early pace on a fresh set of tyres, but his provisional pole time always looked like it could be beaten.
Palmer would take the top spot by over two tenths after stringing together a superb lap. “It’s great – I’m really enjoying the track” said Palmer “I was very confident coming in to today, I had good pace in the race yesterday and obviously pole as well, I knew I could do a good job so I just put my head down and concentrated on making the best of the boost lap and it worked!”
Philipp Eng was a man on a mission, looking like the only driver who could beat Palmer, but ultimately came in second. However, following his scrap with Stoneman in Race 1, Eng was given a 10-place grid penalty and subsequently dropped to twelfth. This promoted Nicola De Marco and the impressive Benjamin Lariche to the second row, with Lariche’s best qualifying performance beating his previous best of tenth in Silverstone.
Eng and Stoneman seemed to forget about yesterday’s tussle and set their mind to improving their cars. Stoneman said “We changed the car last night, we sat down with the engineer – it wasn’t anything major, just a slight little tweak and obviously that made all the difference this morning. I’m good at keeping the car consistent, but we knew the car wasn’t 100% – hopefully now we’ve solved the problem. It will be the same tactic as always, going all out for victory.”
Benjamin Bailly was 0.010s behind Lariche, followed by Kelvin Snoeks and the British duo of Jack Clarke and Will Bratt, who will be slightly disappointed with eighth and ninth, after showing some impressive form yesterday. Rounding out the provisional top ten, but starting ninth is Mihai Marinescu followed by Ivan Samarin.