Formula Two Championship leader Jolyon Palmer left it until the final few minutes to set a stunning lap of 1:16.111s to top the timesheets at the Official F2 test held today at Brands Hatch. Palmer showed the form that has led to his championship lead, to beat compatriot Will Bratt who had topped the timesheets for most of the day. It is looking good for a British victory when the championship rolls into Brands Hatch this weekend with Dean Stoneman also topping the timesheets, albeit for a few moments in the final 15 minutes of the session.
Sergey Afanasiev continued to show that there must be something he likes about Brands Hatch, having secured 2 podiums in 2009 in the International Formula Master series, finishing 4th in every session. Tom Gladdis made it 4 Brits in the Top 5 with an encouraging comeback performance. Gladdis’ season stalled after the opening round at Silverstone due to sponsorship issues, and this performance is clearly promising, bearing in mind this is only his second season in International motorsport.
Championship contender Philipp Eng made steady progress up the order throughout the day finishing in 6th after running way off the pace at the start of the session. Eng will carry fond memories of Brands Hatch, after his maiden F2 win here last season. Ivan Samarin finished behind Eng at the end of the session.
Ramon Pineiro produced an oustounding performance to end the session eighth overall. The Spaniard was consitantly in the top ten throughout the day, showing good speed in both the wet and dry conditions. The Formula Palmer Audi-racer completed today’s test as he is likely to contest the final round of the 2010 F2 season in Valencia , prior to competing in the series full in 2011.
Jack Clarke put in a last gasp effort to claim 9th from Ricardo Teixeira. Plamen Kralev failed to make it out for the final session, after an earlier crash at Clearways earlier in the afternoon. Kazim Vasiliauskas’ car was repaired in time after his size able shunt at Stirling ‘s corner,but could only manage 15th, joining Benjamin Bailly as the notable drivers to finish outside of the top ten – the Belgian ended up in 11th.
Brothers Julian and Johannes Theobald enjoyed a solid debut as they continued to acclimatise themselves to the Williams JPH1B F2 car. Julian ended the afternoon session 17th overall ahead of his maiden F2 event this coming weekend.