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Race report

F2 Spa: Doohan wins from 11th, Pourchaire takes points lead after Vesti drama

Jack Doohan scored his second consecutive Formula 2 feature race victory at Spa, while Theo Pourchaire took the championship lead after Frederik Vesti crashed on the way to the grid.

Jack Doohan (AUS, Invicta Virtuosi Racing), celebrates victory on the podium

Doohan driver started 11th for Virtuosi for Sunday’s race, lining up on the medium compound tyres to run the alternative strategy as the majority of the field opted for softs.

He made steady progress in the early stages, running ninth before the first safety car. A well-timed pitstop for softs under the second safety car meant he rejoined in second, behind Pourchaire, who had switched to mediums.

He finally took the lead two laps from the end on the Kemmel Straight, and despite a close moment between the pair at Les Combes, made it home to repeat his win in Hungary last weekend, with Enzo Fittipaldi third for Rodin Carlin.

Pourchaire’s second-place finish returns him to the top of the standings after title rival Vesti (Prema) crashed on the way to the grid, leaving him unable to start the race.

Pourchaire now leads by 12 points with three rounds remaining, with Vesti in second and DAMS driver Ayumu Iwasa - who retired early after sustaining damage in a clash - in third on 134 points.

Doohan’s win moves him 10 points ahead of Victor Martins (ART) in fourth and 38 off the lead.

With both Vesti and Martins spinning on the way to the grid, the start was delayed by five minutes, though the latter escaped with no damage.

The gap left by his team-mate gave poleman Ollie Bearman (Prema) a solid advantage off the line, with Pourchaire slotting into second ahead of Rodin Carlin duo Zane Maloney and Fittipaldi.

The safety car was almost immediately deployed after contact between Iwasa and Dennis Hauger (MP Motorsport) at Les Combes, the former suffering terminal suspension damage.

Hauger was push-started by the marshals, which resulted in him being disqualified as the rules state a driver cannot receive outside assistance while rejoining a race.

Theo Pourchaire, ART Grand Prix

Theo Pourchaire, ART Grand Prix

Photo by: ART Grand Prix

Racing resumed on lap four, with Maloney and Fittipaldi tussling for third. The Brazilian emerged ahead, with Martins capitalising to take fourth.

Further back, Arthur Leclerc was spun up Eau Rouge in his DAMS-run car by PHM driver Roy Nissany, his tyre later popping off, while the Israeli received a 10-second penalty.

Bearman and Pourchaire’s fight for the lead intensified over the net few laps, with the Frenchman saying at one point that “if I don’t avoid that, we crash.”

Further back, Doohan had made it past Isack Hadjar (Hitech) for eighth at Les Combes.

The first round of stops began at the end of lap 11, including Hadjar, who hit the wall at the pit exit and suffered front wing damage, prompting a virtual safety car.

The hazard was cleared two laps later, with Martins pitting from fourth and Maloney from fifth, exiting in 10th and 11th, though the Alpine junior was handed a five-second penalty for speeding.

Bearman and Pourchaire were next to stop, proving pivotal in the fight for the lead as ART pipped Prema to the quicker tyre change and handed the Frenchman control of the race.

The safety car was deployed again on lap 16 after Jak Crawford (Hitech) came to a stop on track after contact with VAR driver Juan Manuel Correa, handing Doohan the ideal time to stop for soft tyres.

Doohan exited behind Pourchaire, but was able to jump Bearman for second.

Racing was about to resume when Joshua Mason, making his debut for PHM this weekend, ran onto the grass and spun at Turn 9, blaming team-mate Nissany for “just stopping.”

The safety car ended the following lap, with Pourchaire backing the pack up before maintaining his lead.

There was a big moment for Martins on lap 22 at Les Combes, coming together with Bearman as he made a move for third, with the Briton receiving a five-second penalty.

Doohan took the lead the next lap on the Kemmel Straight with the help of DRS, moving past Pourchaire on his soft, fresher tyres.

Fittipaldi then made it past team-mate Maloney on the final lap to take fifth, but was promoted to third after Martins and Bearman served their penalties.

Maloney was promoted to fourth, with Martins fifth and Richard Verschoor in sixth for Van Amersfoort Racing.

Bearman was seventh after his penalty, with Kush Maini in eighth for Campos Racing, Trident’s Roman Stanek and Ralph Boschung (Campos) rounding off the top 10.

F2 Spa: Feature race results

Cla # Driver Team Gap
1 14 AUS Jack Doohan Invicta Virtuosi Racing -
2 5 FRA Théo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix 1.9
3 4 BRA Enzo Fittipaldi Rodin Carlin 9.1
4 3 Zane Maloney Rodin Carlin 10.1
5 6 FRA Victor Martins ART Grand Prix 10.5
6 22 HOL Richard Verschoor Van Amersfoort Racing 10.5
7 8 GBR Oliver Bearman PREMA Racing 12.7
8 24 IND Kush Maini Campos Racing 13.7
9 20 CZE Roman Staněk Trident 16.5
10 25 SUI Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 17.6
11 12 MON Arthur Leclerc DAMS 18.9
12 23 ECU Juan Manuel Correa Van Amersfoort Racing 19.7
13 16 ISR Roy Nissany PHM Racing by Charouz 20.6
14 21 GBR Clement Novalak Trident 23.8
15 17 GBR Joshua Mason PHM Racing by Charouz 25.2
16 15 BEL Amaury Cordeel Invicta Virtuosi Racing 27.9
  9 USA Jak Crawford Hitech Pulse-Eight 10 laps
  2 IND Jehan Daruvala MP Motorsport 11 laps
  10 FRA Isack Hadjar Hitech Pulse-Eight 14 laps
  1 NOR Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport 20 laps
  11 JPN Ayumu Iwasa DAMS 24 laps
  7 DEN Frederik Vesti PREMA Racing  

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