Philipp Eng secures Silverstone pole
Austrian racer leads Jolyon Palmer and Dean Stoneman
Philipp Eng set the quickest time in qualifying two at Silverstone this afternoon (Saturday) and will start tomorrow’s second F2 race from pole position.
Provisional pole position changed hands no few than five times in the final twelve minutes as Sergey Afanasiev, Johan Jokinen and Jolyon Palmer were amongst those to have set a benchmark time at one stage.
The session took the familiar theme of drivers using worn tyres for the first half of the session, before switching to new rubber for a shootout in the final stages. With five minutes remaining Jack Clarke led from Johan Jokinen and Tom Gladdis, but it seemed the trio had used their fresh tyres too early.
With the circuit improving lap by lap, Eng quickly moved into second and jumped up to first soon after. Palmer made a mistake and ruined his overboost enabled lap, but with no extra power to call upon the Englishman still impressively managed to take second shortly after.
Speaking after the session, a delighted Eng said: "I think I used the boost quite cleverly and that helped me do the best time of the session. At times in Q1 the time difference was quite big so I wasn’t happy, but I obviously improved from first to second qualifying. Now I am in a good position, and with two good starts I have a good chance in both races."
Dean Stoneman was the only runner left on circuit to have a realistic chance of stealing pole, and everything was on course when the 19-year-old set the fastest first sector overall on his final lap. He followed that up with a personal best in sector two, but with pole seemingly at his mercy Stoneman locked up going into Abbey and could only take third at the finish.
Behind the lead trio, Jack Clarke was again impressive as he enjoyed his best qualifying session in F2. The ex-Formula Palmer Audi driver has shown much improved pace during pre-season testing and the 22-year-old will be pleased to have backed that up in qualifying.
Johan Jokinen and Tom Gladdis complete the line-up for row three, ahead of Will Bratt and early pacesetter Sergey Afanasiev. Lithuanian star Kazim Vasiliauskas could only manage ninth as he continues to acclimatise to the upgraded Williams JPH1B F2 car, whilst Mihai Marinescu completed the top ten order.
FIA Formula Two Championship – Rounds 1 & 2 – Silverstone, UK – Qualifying 2 Provisional Classification:
1. Philipp Eng, 1:36.992s
2. Jolyon Palmer, +0.020s
3. Dean Stoneman, +0.104s
4. Jack Clarke, +0.205s
5. Johan Jokinen, +0.250s
6. Tom Gladdis, +0.428s
7. Will Bratt, +0.447s
8. Sergey Afanasiev, +0.594s
9. Kazim Vasiliauskas, +0.782s
10. Mihai Marinescu, +0.897s