Jack Clarke, who led home a cluster of British drivers in the lower reaches of last year’s Formula Two championship, is to return to the series in 2010 – with high hopes of putting his hard-won experience to good use.
The 21-year-old finished 18th in last year’s standings, directly ahead of Alex Brundle, Tom Gladdis, Jolyon Palmer and Jason Moore, and his six points were the most scored by any British driver who competed across the full season.
His best result was fifth in the opening race at Spa, and this year he hopes to produce more results as least as good as that: “I am aiming for podiums and wins – last season I had less experience than the majority of drivers but now I expect to hit the ground running as I look to carry good momentum into my second campaign.
“I’m looking forward to taking advantage of the experience I gained in the first season. I have a lot of mileage and knowledge of the car and operation, and I feel this will certainly help,” he said.
Clarke joined F2 from Formula Palmer Audi, where he won six races across two seasons. Jonathan Palmer – boss of both FPA and Formula Two – feels this step up in class was a factor in his results: “As with all the FPA graduates, F2 was a big jump last year but Jack put in some determined race performances and will undoubtedly be a lot more experienced, confident and competitive this season.”
“He should be aiming for top six places and even podiums and he has the talent to achieve it.”
Like most of his rivals this year, Clarke has half an eye on the success of Andy Soucek. The Spaniard won the 2009 title and its prize of a test with the Williams F1 team, which he turned into a role as reserve driver for new Formula One team Virgin.
Clarke said: “It is a big boost to see Andy Soucek get a Formula One deal and I wouldn’t mind being where he is this time next year. It is a credit to him and the championship, and hopefully I will be the person to take the title and the F1 test in 2010.”