Mirko Bortolotti claimed the victory in the first of the two races for the Formula Two Championship in the Czech Republic, taking the championship lead away from Robert Wickens in the process.
"I had a good start and a good pace, I knew that at the start and I'm very happy about it and I'm looking forward to the next race" commented Bortolotti. "I'm very happy to be in front at the moment, but there are a lot of races to go. My mentality is that there are 24 other drivers who all want to win, so I will fight and we'll see at the end."
The second-place finisher was Mikhail Aleshin who held a comfortable edge those fighting for third. "If I had just got a slightly better start then I might have tried the pass on Mirko," he said. "It wasn't really possible but we will see next time."
Philipp Eng and Carlos Iaconelli had a bit of a fight for third with Eng just holding off the charging Brazillian. "It's great," said Eng. "There were still two drivers in front of me so I can't be 100% happy! Still it is nice to back up my pace from Valencia, and it is always good to be on the podium."
Julien Jousse crossed the line in fifth, whilst Armaan Ebrahim managed to keep Edoardo Piscopo behind him to take sixth.
The race started badly for Nicola De Marco. After a hard-fought battle to gain the pole position, the 18-year-old Italian was forced to start from the pit lane. This disappointingly put him at the back of the field; although he did recover to 12th place, no points were scored.
Things were not much better for Henry Surtees and Jack Clarke who didn't make it round the first corner following a three-way collision with Wickens. A short safety car period ensued while the two stranded cars were cleared, Wickens being the only survivor. Once the safety car was in Bortolotti, who had led from the start, never looked in danger of being caught on the drying track.
Wickens, who had also started from the pit lane, was lucky to continue after the first-lap incident. He managed to haul himself back up to 9th place, showing a great deal of skill in the process and even claiming the fastest lap time towards the end of the race. All this effort was not rewarded with any points so he slipped back to second in the championship standings, just one point adrift of the new leader.
Natacha Gachnang and Jens Hoing were outside the maximum qualifying time partly because of the wet conditions in the first qualifying session but were allowed to start the race. Hoing did nothing to justify this decision by spinning twice eventually beaching the car in a gravel trap. Other retirees included Pietro Gandolfi, Kazim Vasiliauskas and German Sanchez whom all had all spins.