Philipp Eng held off Dean Stoneman's advances to score a victory in this weekend's second FIA Formula Two race at Marrakech, Morocco. The win was Eng's second this year and the third in his Formula Two career. Philipp Eng. Photo by...
Philipp Eng held off Dean Stoneman's advances to score a victory in this weekend's second FIA Formula Two race at Marrakech, Morocco. The win was Eng's second this year and the third in his Formula Two career.
As was the case in yesterday's first race, the field was again decimated during the first lap of the race. Eng and Johan Jokinen got off to good starts from their first and third grid positions, and made it through the first corner in orderly fashion, followed by second- and fourth-place starters Stoneman and Will Bratt.
But the stewards had barely had time to take a sigh of relief after the field had successfully negotiated the first turn when the mayhem hit: Ricardo Teixeira, who had started 19th, ran into -- and onto -- the back of Ivan Samarin's car at the end of the back straight, as the two were braking for the chicane.
Teixeira's car barrel-rolled in the air, but landed right-side up, allowing the Angolan driver to exit the car and walk away from what could have been a far worse incident.
However, besides Teixeira and Samarin, three more cars got tangled up in the accident: Benjamin Bailly, Parthiva Sureshwaren and Nicola de Marco all had to abandon the race without a lap being completed. Bailly and de Marco will return to Europe without having completed a racing lap this weekend, as both were also involved in first-lap incidents in yesterday's first race.
Eight laps later, as the green flag was shown, the race was finally on. Eng got on with the job of driving for a victory, followed by Jokinen and Stoneman, but Stoneman quickly moved past the Dane at the hairpin to regain the second place he had lost at the start.
Meanwhile Bratt, in fourth, was defending against the attacks of Kazim Vasiliauskas. This fight entertained the fans around the street course: the Lithuanian slipped past Bratt when the Briton ran wide, but Bratt was able to regain position by using his overboost button.
Five laps from the end, while Stoneman was chasing Eng for the lead, Jokinen spun off at the back straight's second chicane, concluding a disastrous weekend for the quick Dane.
At the front, though, Stoneman was all over Eng, chasing for a second win this weekend. Twice the duo touched wheels, but the fight was clean and both were able to stay on track. Once Eng fended off Stoneman's final-lap passing attempt, he was able to take the chequered flag by a margin of 1.955 seconds.
The two were well ahead of the rest of the field: Bratt finished 5.146 seconds off the pace after 12 laps of green-flag racing, and Vasiliauskas was another 3.388 seconds behind Bratt.
Jolyon Palmer, who had looked good in the first race, had to settle for fifth, a shocking 16 seconds off Eng's pace, and just under a second ahead of Armaan Ebrahim. Sergei Afanasiev and Paul Rees finished seventh and eighth.
Eng's victory stretches his points lead to 19: he now has 80 points to Stoneman's 61 and Palmer's 53. Bratt and Afanasiev are tied for fourth with 33 points.
he race got off to a dramatic start when Ricardo Teixeira rode up the back of Russian racer Ivan Samarin's car at high speed on the back straight. As the pack approached the chicane for the first time, Teixeira's car became airborne and flipped in the air. Fortunately for the Angolan racer his car landed on all four wheels and he was able to walk away from a frightening accident. Ivan Samarin, Benjamin Bailly, Parthiva Sureshwaren and Nicola De Marco were all taken out in the incident and a lengthy safety car period followed.