Andy Soucek took the victory in the weekend's second FIA Formula Two race today at Brands Hatch, but the celebrations and podium ceremonies were muted after a freakish accident involving Henry Surtees and Jack Clarke. Henry...
Andy Soucek took the victory in the weekend's second FIA Formula Two race today at Brands Hatch, but the celebrations and podium ceremonies were muted after a freakish accident involving Henry Surtees and Jack Clarke.
The race was littered with red flags and safety car periods, though most were for relatively light impacts rather than serious incidents. However, as the final safety car period ended on lap eight, just after the halfwaypoint of the scheduled 15-lap race, Clarke spun off into the barriers exiting the medium-speed Westfield Bend.
As his car bouced back from the barriers onto the track, one of his rear wheels flew off, and hit the approaching Surtees directly on his head. Surtees appeared to be immediately knocked unconscious, as his car continued directly into the barriers at Sheene Corner, making heavy contact.
The race was red-flagged immediately, and Surtees was taken to the track medical centre, and then quickly flown by helicopter to the Royal London Hospital's trauma centre.
As for the race, between the safety-car and red-flag periods, Soucek kept his cool and retained the lead through the short periods of actual racing between the stoppages.
"There was everything in this race," Soucek recalled. "Rain, incidents, yellow flags, red flags and safety car periods. It is obviously nice to take the victory and extend my championship lead, but my thoughts are also with Henry."
Wickens, who finished 1.251 seconds behind Soucek, felt that there was little opportunity to actually race for the win. "Andy drove a great race, but you cannot take these kind of races into factor," he said.
Mikhail Aleshion took third, another three and a half seconds behind Wickens, and was closely followed across the line by the weekend's first-race winner, Philipp Eng.
With the victory, Soucek extends his points lead in the fight for the first "new" F2 championship: the Spaniard now has 46 points to Wickens' 39. Eng is the best of the rest at 27 points, and three other drivers are tied for fourth at 25 points.
The series now takes a four-week summer vacation, returning to action at Donington on the weekend of 16 August.