It's another race weekend, and it's time for another new pole winner in the Formula Two championship: this time Philipp Eng claimed the first-race pole position at Brands Hatch, the fourth round of the series. Sebastian Hohenthal looked to be...
It's another race weekend, and it's time for another new pole winner in the Formula Two championship: this time Philipp Eng claimed the first-race pole position at Brands Hatch, the fourth round of the series.
Sebastian Hohenthal looked to be the front-runner through much of the session, but Eng clocked a lap of 1:17.445 with ten minutes to go in the session -- a lap full two seconds faster than his best practice lap earlier today.
"It was obviously a very good lap," Eng smiled. "I think it was the first (F2) qualifying session where I got everything together."
Shortly after Eng completed his lap, Pietro Gandolfi spun out Clark Curve, bringing out the red flags to stop the session. With only some five minutes remaining after the session went green, the track was predictably crowded for the final minutes as everyone tried to get in one more flyer.
Andy Soucek, the championship leader, was able to find some clear track, though, after waiting for some two minutes before leaving the pits. His last-gasp lap helped him leap up the timesheets to second place, just thirteen thousandths off Eng's pace.
"I was using a strategy, but I think it was a big mistake," Soucek explained. "We were waiting for people to put the rubber down on the track, as we thought the end of the session would be the best time to go out."
With Soucek nipping him by four thousandths, Hohenthal had to settle for third-best, but he was still satisified with his season-best qualifying performance, and found something to look forward to in his second-row starting position.
"Obviously it would have been good with pole, but I know for sure that pole has an uphill start whereas third has downhill," the young Swede said. "I started off this season setting targets and it went very bad, so I'm just taking it lap by lap and seeing what we can do. It feels good knowing that we can be quick when everything works well."
Henry Surtees was fourth-fastest, 0.102 seconds off Eng's pace, and was followed another tenth behind by the closely-matched pair of Mikhail Aleshin and Kazim Vasiliauskas, who will occupy the third row on the grid.
Robert Wickens and Julian Jousse, second and third in the championship points, respectively, claimed the two fourth-row spots, about three tenths behind the pole-position time.
Overall, the top fifteen runners fit within half a second, and the next seven were also covered by another half-second.
The drivers will take to the track tomorrow morning to qualify for the second race, before taking the start of the first race in the afternoon.