Soucek targets F2 title at Imola
Andy Soucek is just one race victory away from taking the inaugural FIA Formula Two Championship and the Spaniard is hoping to wrap things up in Imola this weekend (18/19/20 September).
As F2 arrives in Italy, Soucek holds a commanding 32 point advantage with just four races and 40 available points remaining in the 2009 season. The four-time race winner may not even need to stand on the top step of the rostrum to take the crown, but Soucek is determined to win the championship in style.
Mikhail Aleshin took his maiden victory last time out in Oschersleben and the Russian racer is now Soucek's main championship challenger. Aleshin is two points ahead of his Red Bull Junior Team colleague Robert Wickens, who in turn is two points in front of Julien Jousse in fourth place. Mirko Bortolotti and Tobias Hegewald are fifth and sixth respectively as just ten points separate the five drivers battling for second in the standings.
The top seven contenders in the championship have all tasted victory in F2 this season, and Philipp Eng in seventh will be looking to bounce back from a fruitless weekend in Germany.
It will be an emotional round for several Italian Formula Two drivers this weekend, with Bortolotti arguably the most likely to take a victory on home soil. Nicola De Marco will be looking for a good result after returning to points scoring form at Oschersleben, whilst Edoardo Piscopo will be chasing a maiden F2 podium. Pietro Gandolfi is another who is looking forward to racing in his homeland for the first time in 2009.
The Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit is steeped in history. Based near the Italian town of Imola, a picturesque little town in the province of Bologna, the track is one of the few major international circuits to run in an anti-clockwise direction.
The Imola circuit was home to the San Marino Formula One Grand Prix until 2006, and has recently undergone a series of revisions under the direction of Hermann Tilke. F2 will partner the WTCC this weekend and both races will be screened live on Eurosport.
Andy Soucek said: "I would love to win the championship in Imola and I would like to do it with a victory. Of course, I have to finish in front of my rivals here to take the title, but it will not feel as good if I am not at least on the podium. I will push as hard as always to try and score more wins in F2. Imola has a lot of history and although I have never raced at this circuit, I am sure it is going to be an incredible experience. My Dad competed there in the past and he has told me a lot about the place. If I can do it this weekend then I can really enjoy the final round in my home country when we race in Barcelona."