Philipp Eng secured victory in round two of the 2010 Formula Two Championship, having taken the chequered with less than a second to second placed Jolyon Palmer.
Eng, who started from pole position having set the fastest time during the second qualifying session on Saturday led for the whole race distance of twenty three laps, but never had it easy as he was constantly under pressure, firstly from Formula Renault UK Graduate Dean Stoneman then race one winner Palmer.
Off the line at the start of race two, Austrian Eng led away and was challenged by Palmer at Copse, and Stoneman took advantage to claim second from his fellow British driver Palmer.
Behind the top three, race one podium finisher Sergey Afanasiev ran wide at Copse and dropped down to eighth position, thus denting his chances of replicating his race one podium finish. Fellow Russian Ivan Samarin also spun, this time at Becketts as the mayhem of the opening lap continued.
The subsequent laps saw Stoneman closing down race leader Eng, and on lap eight the gap between the top two was half a second. This would be the closest Stoneman would get to Eng as he slowed on the Hanger Straight and saw his race finish in the pits after suffering a mechanical failure.
This promoted Palmer back to second and he took the challenge to Eng. By the twenty second and penultimate lap, Palmer had got the gap down to four tenths of a second and seemingly on form to claim a double victory. A slide at the complex dropped him back slightly and settled for second on the final lap.
The leading duo finished some fifteen seconds clear of the chasing back, with Johan Jokinen making up for his race one DNF with his first F2 podium, having chased down and passed Jack Clarke late in the race. The pass was completed when Clarke ran wide at Stowe.
Clarke still secured his best ever result in F2 with fourth position.
Behind, Will Bratt claimed his second top six finish of the weekend with a fifth place, however the Oxford based youngster admitted he is still learning to get the best out of the Williams JPH1B.
Behind Bratt, sixth went to Russian driver Afanasiev, with Vasiliauskas seventh, Marin Marinescu secured eighth ahead of Indian Armaan Ebrahim with Nicola De Marco taking tenth and the final point having seen off Benjamin Lariche.
Speaking after the second race, Eng said: “It was a very tough race, Jolyon was pushing very hard and for me it was like qualifying every single lap, because I was always trying to get the maximum out of the car. I would have liked to get a podium in the first race – anyway I won this race and fourth in the first race is a good effort.”
For Palmer, securing second means he leads the Championship heading to Marrakech and he said after race two: “As soon as Dean had his problem I just went all out to attack Philipp, I caught him up quite quickly initially but I think he probably responded. We were both setting good times at the end of the race which made it quite hard for me to make inroads. I am still pleased with second and it’s been a good weekend.
“Pre-season testing was really positive, I’ve been at the sharp end the whole time and it’s reflected in this weekend. I am really happy with the weekend and it’s above all my expectations.”
Race Two Results:
- Philipp Eng 38:07.958
- Jolyon Palmer +0.807
- Johan Jokinen +16.230
- Jack Clarke +20.571
- Will Bratt +21.418
- Sergey Afanasiev +28.067
- Kazim Vasiliauskas +33.443
- Mihai Marinescu +35.331
- Armaan Ebrahim +45.026
- Nicola De Marco +46.849
Driver Standings after Round Two:
- Jolyon Palmer – 43 Points
- Philipp Eng – 37 Points
- Sergey Afanasiev – 23 Points
- Dean Stoneman – 18 Points
- Will Bratt – 18 Points
- Kazim Vasiliauskas – 16 Points
- Johan Jokinen – 15 Points
- Jack Clarke – 12 Points
- Mihai Marinescu – 10 Points
- Armaan Ebrahim – 6 Points