Briton leads Afanasiev and Palmer after opening test of 2010
Dean Stoneman enjoyed a superb maiden run in Formula Two to end fastest after the first two official days of testing at Snetterton on 6-7 April.
Stoneman, 19, posted a benchmark time of 58.535s early in the second morning, and remained fastest for the rest of the day despite the best efforts of Sergey Afanasiev and fellow Briton Jolyon Palmer – both of whom finished within one tenth of Stoneman’s time.
Russia’s Afanasiev also set his fastest time during the morning running of the second day, and he ended the test just 0.066s shy of Stoneman’s time. Palmer was a further 0.033s behind Afanasiev, the Briton having topped the timesheets himself after the opening day of the test.
With every Williams JPH1B F2 car being maintained to an exact equal standard the closeness of the field was once again in full evidence, with the top 14 drivers all covered by less than one second and the entire field separated by just over 2.6 seconds.
Behind the lead trio Denmark’s Johan Jokinen set the fourth fastest time ahead of series returnee Armaan Ebrahim, whilst Tom Gladdis rounded out the top six with a best effort little over three tenths of a second off Stoneman.
Seventh to 11th were then separated by less than one tenth, with Mihai Marinescu heading the British duo of Paul Rees and Jack Clarke. Benjamin Bailly rounded out the top ten by the narrowest of margins, the young Belgian’s best effort edging out Will Bratt by just 0.001s.
Philipp Eng confirmed his reputation as a genuine title challenger after topping the timesheets on several occasions during a strong opening day, although he could not quite replicate such form on day two. Elsewhere Nicola De Marco, Ricardo Teixeira and Jose Alonso Liste all enjoyed spells within the top ten.
The two day test also featured one wet session at the end of the final day, with Russia’s Ivan Samarin finishing fastest in the wet running ahead of Nicola De Marco and Jolyon Palmer.
Dean Stoneman said: "I’m happy with today - I have been concentrating on my own programme, but it is still good to go fastest. We tried out a new tyre just to see where we stood and how they affected the set-up of the car, and it seemed that today’s early conditions were better than yesterday. You don’t really ever know what to expect until the first qualifying session of the first round, but I’m here to win and I’ll certainly be going all out for the championship."
Formula Two Test – Snetterton, United Kingdom 6/7 April – Combined Results:
1. Dean Stoneman, 58.535s
2. Sergey Afanasiev, +0.066s
3. Jolyon Palmer, +0.099s
4. Johan Jokinen, +0.331s
5. Armaan Ebrahim, +0.336s
6. Tom Gladdis, +0.387s
7. Mihai Marinescu, +0.602s
8. Paul Rees, +0.662s
9. Jack Clarke, +0.667s
10. Benjamin Bailly, +0.694s