Dean Stoneman has celebrated his first outing in a Formula Two car by topping the timesheets during this year’s first two official days of testing.
Stoneman, a Formula Renault UK graduate and McLaren Autosport BRDC Award finalist, posted the fastest time of the two-day Snetterton test early on the second morning.
He remained fastest for the rest of the day despite strong challenges from Sergey Afanasiev and Jolyon Palmer who both finished within one tenth of his time. Palmer had topped the timesheets on the opening day.
With a strong emphasis in F2 on equality of equipment, the field was extremely close as the top 14 drivers posted times within less than one second of each other, and the entire field was separated by slightly more than 2.6 seconds.
Following the test, Stoneman said: “I have been concentrating on my own programme, but it is still good to go fastest.
“We tried out a new tyre just to see where we stood and how they affected the set-up of the car, and it seemed that today’s early conditions were better than yesterday.
“You don’t really ever know what to expect until the first qualifying session of the first round, but I’m here to win and I’ll certainly be going all out for the championship.”
All the drivers so far confirmed for this season took part in the test except Lithuania’s Kazim Vasiliauskas, and they were joined by three more hoping to fill some of the last four open slots – Romania’s Mihai Marinescu, Spain’s Jose Alonso Liste, and Tom Gladdis from Gibraltar who raced in the series last year.
Behind Stoneman and Palmer, it was Gladdis who rounded out the top six with a best effort that was little over three tenths of a second behind Stoneman’s. Paul Rees was eighth, Jack Clarke ninth and Will Bratt 11th.
Combined top ten results:
- Dean Stoneman: 0:58.535
- Sergey Afanasiev: +0.066s
- Jolyon Palmer: +0.099s
- Johan Jokinen: +0.331s
- Armaan Ebrahim: +0.336s
- Tom Gladdis: +0.387s
- Mihai Marinescu: +0.602s
- Paul Rees: +0.662s
- Jack Clarke: +0.667s
- Benjamin Bailly: +0.694s