Soucek takes Race Two win in Brno
Andy Soucek has won his first FIA Formula Two Championship race in Brno, Czech Republic, this afternoon (Sunday).
Front row starters Henry Surtees and Mikhail Aleshin did not get away from the line, which allowed Nicola De Marco into the lead. Soucek leapt from fifth on the grid up to second after he passed Julien Jousse around the outside at turn one.
The opening lap drama continued at turn two as seven cars were involved in a collision, which left Alex Brundle, Henri Karjalainen, German Sanchez, Pietro Gandolfi and Carlos Iaconelli out of the race. Jens Hoing and Robert Wickens were able to continue, although Wickens later retired.
De Marco dominated much of the race, before making a small mistake and dropping down to fourth on lap ten. The Italian was able to recover from the spin and re-passed Edoardo Piscopo in the closing stages to take the final podium position.
This left Andy Soucek to march on to his maiden F2 victory after a faultless display. Julien Jousse scored his first Formula Two podium, taking second at the finish, whilst it was a bittersweet moment for De Marco - the Italian scored his first F2 podium, but had looked certain to win race until his spin.
Piscopo held fourth ahead of Miloš Pavlović and Armaan Ebrahim who rounded out the top six. The fight for seventh was intense as Sebastian Hohenthal, Tobias Hegewald, Kazim Vasiliauskas and Philipp Eng swapped places at will. Contact was made between Hohenthal and Iaconelli, which dropped the Swede down to 12th. Hohenthal also later collided with championship leader Mirko Bortolotti - the Italian's race ending in the gravel. It was Hegewald who went on to steal seventh, with Vasiliauskas clinching the final championship point.
Amazingly, 17 drivers have already scored points after just four rounds of the championship. All three Red Bull Junior drivers failed to finish the second race at Brno, but they still hold a 1-2-3 lead in the championship. Bortolotti leads Wickens by one point, with Aleshin a further four points back. Impressive results for Julien Jousse and Andy Soucek have thrust the pair back into contention towards the top of the standings, having scored 16 and 15 points respectively.
Andy Soucek said: “It was a great race. I made a good start and I was going to attack Nicola but it was too risky. I had a good fight with Julien but to get my first win was amazing. The next round at Spa Francorchamps is my favorite track, so I hope to fight for podiums or even a victory there.”
Julien Jousse said: “The race was tricky at the beginning with the cars stopped in front of me, but I got a good start anyway. The fight with Andy was very hard but it was good points for the championship and I hope I can continue like that.”
Nicola De Marco said: “I made a mistake and I am very disappointed. I had a good start and I was quick throughout the race. Normally I do not make mistakes but I did in this moment. I lost out on victory, but at least it is my first podium in Formula Two."
1. Andy Soucek, 14 laps
2. Julien Jousse, +2.165s
3. Nicola De Marco, +7.075s
4. Edoardo Piscopo, +10.044s
5. Milos Pavlovic, +11.498s
6. Armaan Ebrahim, +14.426s
7. Tobias Hegewald, +18.198s
8. Kazim Vasiliauskas, +18.864s