Briton out-drags title rival Stoneman to take assured fifth victory
Jolyon Palmer reclaimed the overall lead in the 2010 FIA Formula Two Championship courtesy of an assured victory in today’s second race.
Starting on the front row alongside title rival Dean Stoneman – who wrested the overall lead from Palmer just 24 hours ago – Jolyon made a superb start to out-drag Stoneman on the run down to the first corner.
The pair were almost inseparable in the opening stages, exchanging fastest laps and establishing an early lead over the rest of the field. The gap peaked at just over one second on lap ten, and although Stoneman was able to close again on Palmer in the final stages he was never able to mount a full challenge for the lead.
Despite having Stoneman looming in his mirrors, Palmer looked assured and composed throughout, eventually claiming his fifth victory of the season and recapturing the championship lead in the process.
"That was all about the start – it was a perfect getaway," Palmer reflected. "I couldn’t pull away from Dean but we were both pulling away from third, so I just made sure not to make any mistakes and keep him behind.
"I was pretty relieved when the chequered flag came, but at the same time I was in control of my own race."
Behind the lead pair, Philipp Eng looked set to take third after winning an opening lap duel with Kazim Vasiliauskas for third – Eng losing out to the Lithuanian away from the line before a bold move on the outside of turn three saw him reclaim the position.
The Austrian suffered heartbreak however when his car retired on the final lap of the race, handing third to Vasiliauskas – his third podium of the year.
Sergey Afanasiev built upon a podium in yesterday’s race to lead home Benjamin Bailly in the battle for fourth, the Russian withstanding heavy early pressure to finish just over a second clear of Bailly.
Yesterday’s race winner Nicola De Marco also had to withstand heavy pressure from Benjamin Lariche for almost the entire duration of the race, but held on to complete the most successful weekend of his 2010 season. Unable to find a way past, Lariche nevertheless scored his best result of the year in seventh.
Kelvin Snoeks finished less than a second down the road in eighth, while Jack Clarke made superb early progress to clinch ninth, having started from 14th on the grid. Will Bratt rounded out the top ten, the Briton losing out at the start before working his way back up the order with eye-catching moves on Armaan Ebrahim and Mihai Marinescu.
Outside the top ten, Tom Gladdis enjoyed engrossing duels with Armaan Ebrahim and later Mihai Marinescu, while Ricardo Teixeira was the only race casualty other than Philipp Eng – the Angolan being tipped into a spin and out of the race by Plamen Kralev on the opening lap.