Spaniard extends championship lead after crushing race one win
Spaniard Andy Soucek has extended his lead in the 2009 FIA Formula Two Championship after taking a brilliant win at Donington Park in race one this morning (Sunday). He becomes the first driver to achieve three race victories this season.
Starting from third on the grid, Soucek made a fantastic getaway to lead into the first corner, whilst polesitter Tobias Hegewald dropped down to third behind Mikhail Aleshin. Soucek continued to pull a gap on his rivals behind, setting his fastest lap towards the end of the race, which he went on to win comfortably by nearly ten seconds.
"This was the kind of race you dream about – it was perfect," said Soucek. "From the start I hit the boost at just the right moment and in the right place, and it was fantastic – I don’t think I will be able to repeat such a start many times. I’m really pleased, particularly for my mechanic who did a fantastic job repairing my car after my crash yesterday and it was just perfect.
"I was just amazed that every lap I saw my times and they were exactly the same. My rhythm was very consistent which is the most important thing in a race, so I’m really happy."
Whilst Soucek was never challenged, there was action throughout the field behind him, with Aleshin, Hegewald and Milo Pavlović enjoying a race-long scrap for second place. Aleshin absorbed the pressure and held on to claim 8 points, whilst Pavlović managed to pass Hegewald on lap 20 going into the Fogerty Esses, only to suddenly slow and retire two laps later.
"Tobias gave me a hard time during the race," said Aleshin. "I was on the limit basically on every corner and just saw Tobias coming closer and closer. I was pretty surprised at the start – I was probably still in first gear and Andy came past me! I had a good start, but probably not as good as Andy – second place is still good though."
Edoardo Piscopo took a strong fourth place, with Philipp Eng in fifth. Sebastian Hohenthal and Julien Jousse recovered to sixth and seventh after dropping down the order following an earlier collision at Goddards, whilst Armaan Ebrahim took the final point in eighth.
Jack Clarke slipped to ninth after losing time during an off at Redgate, but the Englishman still enjoyed one of this strongest drives of the season, having been running in a points paying position from 13th on the grid. Mirko Bortolotti rounded out the top ten after he eventually passed Jason Moore on the Dunlop Straight – the pair having endured a titanic battle throughout.
Canadian Robert Wickens dropped through the field after a technical problem and retired, whilst Nicola De Marco and Jens Höing were eliminated following a lap one collision. Jolyon Palmer, Henri Karjalainen and Carlos Iaconelli came together in dramatic style on lap 17, damaging all three cars. Palmer had seemingly shown enough of his car down the inside of Iaconelli at the Fogerty Esses, but the Brazilian turned in and heavy contact was made. As a result, Karjalainen had nowhere to go and he made contact with the rear of Palmer’s car.
Alex Brundle recovered from a spin after a close moment with Henri Karjalainen at Coppice, whilst Pietro Gandolfi retired following a double spin at the Fogerty Esses and Goddards.
Race 1 Provisional Results:
1. Andy Soucek, 25 laps
2. Mikhail Aleshin, +9.799s
3. Tobias Hegewald, +11.976s
4. Edoardo Piscopo, +12.848s
5. Philipp Eng, +14.056s
6. Sebastian Hohenthal, +15.760s
7. Julien Jousse, +16.289s
8. Armann Ebrahim, +29,596s
9. Jack Clarke, + 39.739s
10. Mirko Bortolotti, +41.514s