Eng takes Race 2 at Brands Hatch

Philipp Eng has claimed his third victory of the season in Race 2 of the FIA Formula Two Championship at Brands Hatch, in a race that will remembered for a clash between championship rivals, and countrymen, Jolyon Palmer and Dean Stoneman. Eng held position from second on the grid, as pole-sitter Kazim Vasiliauskas began to creep away at the front. As this was occurring, Jolyon Palmer made a great start going from fifth to third, and Dean Stoneman jumped from seventh to fifth.

During the opening laps, Stoneman and fourth place man Tom Gladdis traded positions until Stoneman managed to squeeze past at Surtees. The moment of the race occurred on Lap 4. As Stoneman was chasing down Palmer, he decided to make a move into Paddock Hill. When Stoneman drew alongside Palmer the pair touched front wheels, pinging Palmer off into the gravel and out of the race. The incident allowed Gladdis through back into third, and Stoneman continued in fourth. Gladdis’ third became second halfway through the race, as Vasiliauskas was forced to retire with a gearbox problem.

Less than a second and a half separated the front three for the remainder of the race, with Stoneman putting pressure on Gladdis to the end. However, Gladdis managed to hold the position, mainly down to the fact he had kept six of his eight boosts available. This allowed him to hang on to claim his best ever F2 result. This scrap allowed Eng to claim victory by half a second.

Behind the front three, Will Bratt capped of an impressive weekend with a quiet drive to fourth, while Nicola De Marco headed a fight for fifth to post a great double point finish. Despite briefly being third off the line, Sergey Afanasiev ran wide at Hawthorn on the opening lap during a battle with Palmer and the Russian fell down the order. He recovered, but could only manage sixth. Mihai Marinescu held a one second advantage over Armaan Ebrahim to claim seventh while Brit Jack Clarke made up five positions during the race to finish ninth. The final Championship point went to Ivan Samarin, who completed his best ever weekend in F2 after scoring his maiden podium yesterday.

Following the race, the incident between Palmer and Stoneman was reviewed. Upon hearing the evidence that the drivers had to give, the stewards declared that Stoneman had caused the incident, and the penalty, had it been during the race then it would have been a drive-through. However, this was converted to a 20-second time penalty demoting Stoneman down to thirteenth and out of the points. Palmer therefore re inherits the overall standings lead, five points ahead of Stoneman. Will Bratt was promoted to third position in the race, his third podium of the season so far. Nicola De Marco, Sergey Afanasiev, Mihai Marinescu, Armaan Ebrahim, Jack Clarke and Ivan Samarin all improve their points tally following the stewards decision, whilst Benjamin Lariche scores the final point after being promoted to tenth.