Frenchman Benjamin Lariche has followed Briton Jack Clarke in announcing his return to Formula Two for the 2011 season. A solid first season in the series, followed by a strong winter testing programme, has seen Lariche target podium finishes in his second season.
Consistency was the key for Lariche in 2010, who picked up points in 12 out of the 18 races. He picked up two top eight finishes at Monza and Brno, before getting his best result of the year at the final round at Valencia, qualifying second before finishing a solid sixth. Over the winter, he set the fastest time of the second day of testing at PortimÃ£o in December.
Lariche expressed his joy at returning to the series: “I'm very excited to return to F2. I improved throughout last season, and finished the year by qualifying on the front row at Valencia, which was a fantastic end. I was also quick in winter testing, so I'm feeling very confident.
Added happiness for Lariche comes as the series visits his home circuit of Magny-Cours in May: “I'm also delighted to be racing at Magny-Cours, which will be a very special event for me with my family and friends coming across. It's one of several Grand Prix tracks on the calendar for 2011 and that makes F2 even more attractive than last year for me and my partners I think.
“I'm not setting any immediate goals for 2011, because I prefer to concentrate on myself rather than others, but I know if I perform well then I will be fast. My first goal is the top five in the championship, but a top three would be fantastic and I'm confident podiums and even victories will be possible.”
Formula Two Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer is also happy to see him return: “I’m delighted Benjamin is back in F2 this year. He had some strong performances last season, in particular a superb front row qualifying effort at the final event at Valencia, and I am quite sure he will build on his experience in 2011 – he certainly is capable of scoring frequent podiums and race wins.”