It was announced today by Formula Two and “Team Silver Lining” that Jon Lancaster will be driving in the Formula Two series this weekend, and I would guess for other races in the year. Drivers don’t enter F2 in teams, but Silver Lining sponsor one of the cars, and Lancaster will be replacing Tom Gladdis who drove in Silverstone.
Jon Lancaster – appropriately enough from Leeds – began his career in FR 2.0, taking part in the UK winter series in 2006 before moving into the French and European cups in 2007. He came second in the 2007 Eurocup FR 2.0. In 2008 he moved to F3 Euroseries, finishing 12th, and coming third in the Masters of F3 race. For 2009, he moved to FR 2.0, finishing 13th, and continued in the series last year to finish 13th again, having taken one podium, one pole position and two fastest laps. Series director Jonathan Palmer has high hopes for Jon, so let’s hope he lives up to them and does well in 2011.
Today the F2 cars have been testing at Magny-Cours. 22 cars registered times, though one of those was the test car so only 21 drivers actually set a time. Leading the first session was Miki Monras, who took podiums in both rounds at Silverstone and is second in the championship. Alex Brundle came second, and Jack Clarke (who took points in both Silverstone races) came third.
In the second session, Will Bratt – 2nd in the first race at Silverstone and disqualified from the second – set the fastest time, with Brundle again second and Monras third. In the third session, excluding the test car Tobias Hegewald was fastest, suspiciously over a second faster than second-placed championship leader Mirko Bortolotti. In third was Miki Monras. The final session was led impressively by Christopher Zanella, currently 4th in the championship, with Benjamin Lariche second and Mihai Marinescu third. The fastest overall times are listed below:
|1||Miki Monras (ESP)||1:30.841||–|
|2||Christopher Zanella (SUI)||1:30.846||0.005|
|3||Benjamin Lariche (FRA)||1:31.059||0.218|
|4||Mihai Marinescu (ROM)||1:31.129||0.288|
|5||Alex Brundle (GBR)||1:31.284||0.443|
|6||Ramon Pineiro (ESP)||1:31.397||0.556|
|7||Johannes Theobald (GER)||1:31.402||0.561|
|8||Jack Clarke (GBR)||1:31.472||0.631|
|9||Will Bratt (GBR)||1:31.490||0.649|
|10||Tobias Hegewald (GER)||1:31.787||0.946|
|11||Jon Lancaster (GBR)||1:31.988||1.147|
|12||Mikkel Mac (DEN)||1:32.018||1.177|
|13||Mirko Bortolotti (ITA)||1:32.147||1.306|
|14||Armaan Ebrahim (IND)||1:32.280||1.439|
|15||Kelvin Snoeks (NED)||1:32.463||1.622|
|16||Max Snegirev (RUS)||1:32.718||1.877|
|17||Jose Luis Abadin (ESP)||1:32.822||1.981|
|18||Natalia Kowalska (POL)||1:32.835||1.994|
|19||Plamen Kralev (BUL)||1:33.435||2.594|
|20||James Cole (GBR)||1:33.528||2.687|
|21||Sung-Hak Mun (KOR)||1:33.573||2.732|
It remains to be seen who will join these 21 for the race at the weekend. Let’s hope for another full field! It’s the first time F2 (in its current format) has been to the track, which last saw an F1 race in 2008. Its facilities have been substantially improved, but it’s doubtful that a French GP will be returning any time soon, with F1 taking to many different parts of the world. But all the same, a good race is on the cards, and will be broadcast for free on the F2 website as well as on pay-to-view Motors TV.