Formula 2

Lights To Flag Win For Marinescu In Second Brands Hatch Race

3 Mins read
Mihai Marinescu - Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography

Mihai Marinescu won Sunday's FIA Formula Two race at Brands Hatch after a controlled drive from pole position.

The Romanian driver quickly opened up a one second lead over rival Christopher Zanella, and although that was eliminated by a safety car period he took the checkered flag by 3.8 seconds.

“It feels really good and I am happy that I won,” said Marinescu afterwards. “I made up some points on the other guys in the championship and that is what I’m aiming for. I had some difficulty in race two at Spa when I crashed in qualifying where I could have made a pole but it doesn’t matter anymore. This is bouncing back.

“I knew I had had a good start and everything was controlled from the beginning. At the restart Zanella was quite close and I felt him breathe down my neck but it was okay. I would really like the tyres to behave like this all season because I really enjoyed the race and I could push from the beginning. It was really good.”

Zanella acknowledged that Marinescu was unstoppable, and was happy with second.

“It feels very good,” he said. “After the crash in Spa it is a good feeling to be on the podium again. I had a very good race. I tried to give Mihai some pressure but after a few laps I saw it was not possible so I slowed down a bit and kept the second place.

“I tried to slow a bit to stay on the track and maintain second place as I knew I could not overtake Mihai. Today he was definitely too quick for me. The only chance was to pass him on the start but he had a good start and today it was impossible.”

Markus Pommer bogged down off the line from third on the grid, allowing Dino Zamparelli to move up into a podium place.

Dino Zamparelli - Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography

Zamparelli took a well-earned maiden podium – Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography

The Bristol racer was unable to keep pace with the leading pair but stayed ahead of Saturday winner Kevin Mirocha to make the podium for the first time in F2.

“It’s fantastic to be on the podium,” said Zamparelli. “I’ve had a bit of a tough time at the start of the season and it’s just been a relief to get on the podium even if it is third. It was a good race. I tried my hardest to keep up with these two but when you’re content with third and realise you don’t have the pace I kept it on the island and just made sure brought it home.

“The first couple of laps I was on the pace there or there abouts and was just trying to peg a gap to fourth place man. After that I just kept my head down and tried to keep as close to these guys as I could but they have been here before. This is my first time on the GP circuit so I can’t be too disappointed with falling behind. I guess I hoped they were going to battle but it wasn’t to be today.”

The safety car was caused by 15-year-old Matheo Tuscher who crashed out of fifth and into the barriers at Paddock Hill Bend to cause his first retirement of the season.

Pommer inherited fifth and finished just behind Mirocha, while championship leader Luciano Bacheta was sixth. He got ahead of Max Snegirev at the start, but the Russian crashed out at Hawthorns with three laps left. Alex Fontana crossed the line just behind Bacheta in seventh, while Daniel McKenzie, Axcil Jefferies and Kourosh Khani completed the top ten.

Mauro Calamia was 11th, ahead of Hector Hurst. The Lymington racer was running ninth on his 20th birthday until contact from Plamen Kralev that put the Bulgarian in the barriers and out of the race. David Zhu completed the finishers at 13th.

Plamen Kralev - Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography

Kralev ended up in the barriers after trying to pass Hurst – Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography

Bacheta continues to lead the standings on 161.5 points, with Zanella on 124, Marinescu on 123 and Tuscher on 114. The drivers will be back in action next weekend at Paul Ricard in France.

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Peter joined the TCF team in September 2010 and covers GP2 and GP3 along with WTCC and Formula Two. You can find him on twitter at @PeteAllen_
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