Clarke storms to maiden F2 victory
Date published : 23 Jul 2011 - 15:40:00
GPUpdateClarke storms to maiden F2 victory23 July 2011 Jack Clarke took his first ever Formula 2 win at Brands Hatch on Saturday afternoon, bolting away at the start before cementing his lead over the rest of the field. Spain's Ramón Piñeiro maintained his grid position to claim second at the chequered flag, while pole-sitter Tobias Hegewald slipped back to the final spot on the podium.
After Mirko Bortolotti's five-place grid penalty for contact with Alex Brundle in qualifying, Clarke was moved up to third and jumped ahead of both Piñeiro and Hegewald before the first corner. Only a few moments later the Safety Car was forced to make its first appearance, with Jordan King hitting Kelvin Snoeks out of the running at Graham Hill bend, before Mihai Marinescu and Benjamin Lariche joined them on the sidelines.
Clarke remained calm at the restart and showed no signs of letting his lead slip, but there was no such luck for compatriot Brundle was forced to retire after his car came to a sudden halt during the first half of the lap. After creating a relatively comfortable gap back to second place man Piñeiro, Clarke went on to take the Race 1 victory some three seconds ahead of his rival, marking a fine end to his day at the wheel.
Behind the top three drivers, Miki Monrás held onto fourth ahead of a charging Mirko Bortolotti, while the latter's chief championship rival Christopher Zanella had to make do with sixth. Max Snegirev grabbed seventh behind the Swiss pilot, outracing James Cole, Armaan Ebrahim and José Luis Abadín who rounded out the top ten.
Sunday's Qualifying 2 begins at 10am local time (BST)