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Formula 2 Winter Test (Portimao, December 2nd)

December 3, 2010

Jack Clarke topped the time sheets in the first of Formula 2’s winter tests at the Portimao circuit in the Algarve, with Benjamin Lariche proving to be the quickest in the afternoon.

Clarke set the fastest lap of the morning in the final minutes of the session, as the track began to dry out following early rain; while Lariche clocked up his time late on under the emergent Portuguese sun.
Clarke finished the morning with a lap 3.5 seconds faster than 2010 Formula 3 Euroseries runner Antonio Felix da Costa and 4.7 seconds clear of Thiemo Storz; however Storz proved to be the quickest runner while the circuit was sodden. Lariche, Kevin Mirocha and Joylon Palmer also proved to be initially quick, before falling down the order as the circuit dried late on.

Such were the changeable conditions of the morning session, it is next to impossible to assess just how quick Clarke really was compared to the competition – it is highly unlikely that young Spaniard Bruno Mendez is 14.7 seconds slower than the Briton; however in terms of confidence, it could be an extra boost for Clarke.
One driver that did not enjoy a boost of confidence was British Formula 3 runner Alex Brundle. In difficult early conditions, the Briton slapped the turn 3 barriers sidelining him temporarily, before returning to the circuit late on.

Indeed Clarke kept up the pace in the afternoon, registering the 3rd quickest time, some 0.2 of-a-second shy of Lariche – da Costa once again found himself 2nd quickest, sandwiched by Clarke and Lariche in the final order.
Joylon Palmer also proved to be quick with his 4th best time – the top four found themselves some distance clear of the rest of the field as the chequered flag flew for the final time.

Day One, Morning Session:
1.  Jack Clarke,           1:40.561s
2.  Antonio Felix da Costa,  +3.567s
3.  Thiemo Storz,            +4.713s
4.  Benjamin Lariche,        +5.429s
5.  Kevin Mirocha,           +6.300s
6.  Jolyon Palmer,           +6.319s
7.  Ramón Piñeiro,           +6.371s
8.  Vincent Beltoise,        +6.708s
9.  Alex Brundle,            +7.355s
10. Max Snegirev,            +7.787s
11. Natalia Kowalska,        +7.820s
12. Plamen Kralev,           +8.035s
13. André Negrão,            +8.200s
14. Bruno Mendez,           +14.746s

Day One, Afternoon Session:
1.  Benjamin Lariche,      1:36.200s
2.  Antonio Felix da Costa,  +0.244s
3.  Jack Clarke,             +0.248s
4.  Jolyon Palmer,           +0.353s
5.  Thiemo Storz,            +0.899s
6.  Alex Brundle,            +0.948s
7.  Bruno Mendez,            +1.210s
8.  Max Snegirev,            +1.237s
9.  Ramón Piñeiro,           +1.302s
10. Natalia Kowalska,        +1.410s
11. Kevin Mirocha,           +1.417s
12. André Negrão,            +1.909s
13. Plamen Kralev,           +2.059s
14. Vincent Beltoise,        +3.506s

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