Philipp Eng became the fifth different winner in seven Formula 2 races so far this season when he converted his pole position into victory at Brands Hatch today.
The 19-year-old Austrian had scored two podiums earlier in the year but was desperate for a good result after failing to finish both races at Spa-Francorchamps last time out. He held off Andy Soucek into the first corner and soaked up the pressure from the championship leader throughout the 45-minute race.
"Andy was really quick in the back part of the circuit, but I managed to keep my position," said Eng. "I tried to look forward as much as possible and not in the mirrors, it was really tough."
Soucek's assault was relentless but apart from the odd inquisitive peer down the inside, there was never a real opportunity for the Spaniard to get ahead.
Pressure was heaped on Eng at a safety car restart after Sebastian Hohenthal's broken down car had to be removed from the exit of Sheene, but he made no mistake.
The same could not be said of Kazim Vasiliauskas, who lost what would have been an excellent third when he ran wide at Paddock Hill Bend on cooler tyres and Henry Surtees and Robert Wickens nipped ahead.
That gave Surtees his first podium of the season and kept Wickens within reasonable touch of title rival Soucek. Vasiliauskas finished fifth, with Carlos Iaconelli completing the top six.
Iaconelli had been under threat from Julien Jousse, but the Frenchman slid off the road at Paddock after diving up the inside of the Brazilian and losing the car on the bump on the inside of the track.
Pos Driver Time/Gap 1. Philipp Eng 39m01.642s 2. Andy Soucek +0.494 3. Henry Surtees +1.694 4. Robert Wickens +3.000 5. Kazim Vasiliauskas +3.271 6. Carlos Iaconelli +7.398 7. Milos Pavlovic +7.942 8. Edoardo Piscopo +8.416 9. Nicola de Marco +8.953 10. Mikhail Aleshin +12.100 11. Henri Karjalainen +12.666 12. Jolyon Palmer +14.574 13. Tom Gladdis +15.072 14. Natacha Gachnang +16.636 15. Tobias Hegewald +21.503 16. Jason Moore +23.532 17. German Sanchez +31.820 18. Pietro Gandolfi +49.727 19. Julien Jousse +2 laps Retirements Mirko Bortolotti 22 laps Jack Clarke 19 laps Armaan Ebrahim 16 laps Alex Brundle 16 laps Sebastian Hohenthal 10 laps Jens Hoing 4 laps