Stoneman wins again to extend points lead
Dean Stoneman took a massive stride towards winning the 2010 Formula Two championship by claiming his second win of the weekend in Oschersleben.
|Stoneman raises his hand in victory|
Starting from pole, Stoneman held his lead through the opening corners and looked assured throughout the 23-lap contest. His sixth win of the season sees him move 31 points clear of title rival Jolyon Palmer - who could only finish 12th - with just two rounds remaining.
"Obviously I've moved a lot closer to the title," Stoneman enthused after the race. "I've got a 31 point lead, so that's good for us because I've got a race in hand. All I've got to do now is keep it consistent, finish the next two races in Valencia and hopefully I can win the championship!"
With overtaking at a premium on the intricate 3.7km Oschersleben circuit, Palmer faced an uphill challenge after a difficult qualifying left him 14th on the grid. He initially made good progress and was tenth by the end of the first lap, but he ran wide at turn one when trying to pass Ivan Samarin and dropped down the order, denting his championship hopes.
Kazim Vasiliauskas finished less than two seconds behind Stoneman in second, although the Lithuanian had spent much of the race in third behind Nicola De Marco. The Italian suffered heartbreak in the closing stages however as his car retired at turn one, allowing Vasiliauskas to move into second and thereby secure his best two results of the season.
Having kept touch with the lead trio throughout the race, Sergey Afanasiev was able to close on Vasiliauskas and De Marco as the pair battled for second, before also profiting from De Marco's retirement to seal the final podium spot and move seven points clear in the race for third in the championship.
Kelvin Snoeks meanwhile enjoyed his best result since Marrakech, the Dutchman completing an impressive race which included a good pass on Benjamin Bailly at turn one to claim fourth at the checkered flag.
Bailly then slipped back into the clutches of Mihai Marinescu and Will Bratt, who enjoyed an engaging battle for sixth for the duration of the race. Bailly held on to take fifth, while Bratt - who came close to tapping Marinescu at the midway stage as he fought to find a way through - was forced to settle for seventh, with Marinescu sixth.
Behind them, Ivan Samarin had to defend for much of the race before eventually taking a hard-fought eighth place. Samarin first came under pressure from title contender Jolyon Palmer, before Philipp Eng set about attacking the Russian after Palmer ran wide at turn one and dropped down the order.
Samarin hung on superbly as several cars lined up behind him, eventually finishing just 0.284s ahead of Eng - who in turn finished less than one second clear of Armaan Ebrahim in tenth.
France's Benjamin Lariche was a further half second back, with Palmer finishing 12th ahead of F2 debutant Johannes Theobald and Bulgaria's Plamen Kralev.