Top five drivers seperated by just six points as F2 arrives at Spa
Rounds five and six take place this weekend at legendary Belgian venue
After a wide open weekend in Brno, the 2009 FIA Formula Two Championship rolls into the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium this weekend (26/27/28 June) for rounds five and six of the season.
Mirko Bortolotti currently holds the championship lead, but with the top five drivers separated by just six points he will have his work cut out defending his position. The Italian took a stylish maiden victory in Race One at Brno, but a spin when challenging for fifth in the second race allowed his rivals to close the gap.
Experienced Spaniard Andy Soucek will be hoping to carry his winning form into Spa, after capitalising on an error by Nicola De Marco to take victory in the second race at Brno. Soucek has previously scored podiums at Spa in Formula Renault 3.5 and GP2, and will be hoping to again be challenging at the front in Formula Two.
Separating Bortolotti and Soucek in the overall standings are the Red Bull duo of Robert Wickens and Mikhail Aleshin, and Frenchman Julien Jousse. Wickens lies second in the championship courtesy of a sensational opening weekend in Valencia where he took both pole positions and both race wins, but after failing to register a points finish at Brno he will be hoping to get his season back on track here in Belgium. Aleshin meanwhile lies third after a string of top-six finishes, but he too must bounce back from a non-finish in race two last weekend.
Elsewhere it was a weekend of mixed fortunes for De Marco, who impressed in Brno by taking pole for race one and leading much of race two, before a mistake dropped him down to third. Henry Surtees also impressed with pole for race two, but suffered heartbreak after failing to get away from the start. Henri Karjalainen was the surprise package of the weekend, the Finn taking his maiden points with fourth in the opening race, whilst Armaan Ebrahim had two storming drives through the field to take sixth in both races.
Cut into the forests of the Ardennes, the sweeping Spa-Francorchamps is set to provide some fantastic racing this weekend with many of the 25 F2 drivers having previous experience of the circuit. Incredibly 17 drivers have already scored points after just four rounds of the championship, with nine claiming podium finishes.
Championship leader Mirko Bortolotti said: Im really looking forward to Spa this is the first time Ive been here, which is a bit of a disadvantage, but the circuit has a great reputation and I think we will have a good package. Im keen to do my best on Friday and to see where I stand. I can be very happy with my start in Formula Two this season, especially my victory, but the championship is long so I have to look forward and continue winning.
Robert Wickens said: Spa is the kind of track that you dream of driving when youre young its a blast! Its also good timing as it allows me to get Brno out of my system quickly. Ill be targeting wins and podiums this weekend, and Im confident whatever the weather does. Its just a matter of getting things together and not making the same mistakes we did in Brno.
Andy Soucek said: I have been in love with Spa since my first race here in Formula Renault 3.5, and Im really looking forward to racing here in Formula Two. More than just my victory, I am very happy about the fact I have really closed on the top three drivers after Brno. From the first test my aim has been to win the championship, and I think Spa could set the tone for the rest of the season.