Belgian racer goes quickest in final practice at Zolder
20-year-old Benjamin Bailly has set the pace in a Formula Two session for the first time in his career after the Belgian driver went quickest in final practice at Zolder.
Racing on home soil, Bailly was a consistent top ten runner during Tuesday’s test and this morning’s opening practice session, but it was his late lap in free practice two that pushed him to the summit of the timesheets.
Armaan Ebrahim completed a rather unexpected look to the top two positions after the Indian racer set a hot lap in the closing seconds. Ebrahim has improved during practice and qualifying conditions throughout the 2010 campaign, and with his race pace never in doubt he could be one to watch as the weekend progresses.
The session was slower overall than the early morning running but championship leader Jolyon Palmer still found enough grip in his worn rubber to claim third. Russian racer Ivan Samarin enjoyed one of his best runs of the season so far, after the Luding-backed driver jumped into fourth ahead of Will Bratt.
Philipp Eng improved during the session and made his first visit to the top six in the final stages. The Austrian’s lap demoted Dean Stoneman to seventh, with the Englishman clearly taking the most aggressive line across the kerbs through turn one.
Kelvin Snoeks, Kazim Vasiliauskas and Jack Clarke rounded out the top ten, although Clarke had a torrid time at turn two. He had already returned to the circuit after running wide at turn one in the early stages, before he fired his car into the gravel at turn two late on and was unable to continue.
Ricardo Teixeira, Ivan Samarin and pace-setter Bailly were also caught out by the tricky turn two and three complex – all three returned to the tarmac after separate trips through the gravel.
The opening qualifying session of the weekend will take place at 4:45pm today and the official Formula Two website will provide live text commentary, results and reports following the conclusion of the session.
FIA Formula Two Championship – Zolder, Belgium – Free Practice Two Classification:
1. Benjamin Bailly, 1:24.390s
2. Armaan Ebrahim, +0.311s
3. Jolyon Palmer, +0.521s
4. Ivan Samarin, +0.638s
5. Will Bratt, +0.651s
6. Philipp Eng, 0.833s
7. Dean Stoneman, +0.956s
8. Kelvin Snoeks, +0.993s
9. Kazim Vasiliauskas, +1.184s
10. Jack Clarke, +1.200s