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Doohan victorious at Spa, Drugovich extends F2 lead

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Formula Motorsport Limited

Jack Doohan won the Formula 2 feature race at Spa as Felipe Drugovich extended his championship lead after a problem for Theo Pourchaire took him out early on.

It was a good start for Doohan, who jumped up from fourth on the grid to second off the line. He stuck with Drugovich through the first half of the race, though wouldn’t make a move for the lead until the pit window opened.

Doohan was one of the earlier pitters, coming in on lap 10 of 25. It was a clean pit stop and he set personal bests in every sector on the outlap. Drugovich pitted the following lap and came out just ahead of Doohan, but couldn’t hold off the Virtuosi driver on tyres that were up to temperature.

Doohan quickly pulled out a four-second lead to Drugovich, but then came up against drivers who had started on the harder compound of tyre. Amaury Cordeel, who was yet to pit, but up a strong defence which allowed Drugovich to close back onto Doohan’s tail.

Together, Doohan and Drugovich picked their way back through the order as the late pitters made their stops.

By the time the pitstops had cycled out, they were almost six seconds clear of the rest of the field. Doohan again managed to break the tow to Drugovich and finished a comfortable 1.9s ahead of the championship leader.

Drugovich took second, his best result since his Monaco feature race win, and further extended his gap in the championship to 43 points with three rounds remaining.

Pourchaire had been running inside the top 10 when he slowed to a stop on track early on.

Meanwhile, Drugovich’s next closest title rival Logan Sargeant could only finish sixth. Sargeant, who had started third, got a poor start and fell down the order. He fell back to fifth by the end of the pit stop sequence and spent the closing stages of the race battling to stay ahead of the charging Richard Verschoor.

Verschoor would come through, demoting Sargeant to sixth.

Ahead, Liam Lawson took third. He spent much of the race battling against Enzo Fittipaldi for position.

Early on, Fittpaldi ran wide defending and was forced to give the position to Lawson shortly afterwards. But a slow stop for Lawson meant he came out of the pits only just ahead of Fittipaldi, who had the tyres up to temperature. Fittipaldi came through only to run wide and again hand the place to Lawson.

Lawson was eventually able to shake Fittpaldi and finished comfortably ahead, while the late charge from Verschoor dropped Fittipaldi back to fifth ahead of Sargeant and David Beckmann.

Ayumu Iwasa took eighth after a lengthy battle with Marcus Armstrong, who dropped down the order with a five-second penalty for forcing a driver wide early on.

Juri Vips took ninth, moving ahead of Dennis Hauger shortly before a late race virtual safety car, brought out for Lirim Zendelli who stopped at turn nine. The incident was quickly cleared, allowing for a short dash to the flag.

Clement Novalak pipped Hauger for P10 on the final lap, though Hauger dropped further back in the corrected timings due to two five-second time penalties, one for forcing Armstrong wide and another for exceeding track limits.

Race result (25 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Jack Doohan Virtuosi 52m16.133s
2 Felipe Drugovich MP Motorsport +1.942s
3 Liam Lawson Carlin +8.714s
4 Richard Verschoor Trident +12.479s
5 Enzo Fittipaldi Charouz Racing System +20.481s
6 Logan Sargeant Carlin +21.266s
7 David Beckmann Van Amersfoort Racing +22.365s
8 Ayumu Iwasa DAMS +22.498s
9 Juri Vips Hitech GP +23.899s
10 Clement Novalak MP Motorsport +24.746s
11 Frederik Vesti ART Grand Prix +31.001s
12 Dennis Hauger Prema +37.471s
13 Marcus Armstrong Hitech GP +39.756s
14 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing +40.683s
15 Marino Sato Virtuosi +43.718s
16 Calan Williams Trident +45.683s
17 Amaury Cordeel Van Amersfoort Racing +52.243s
18 Tatiana Calderon Charouz Racing System +57.384s
19 Roy Nissany DAMS +1m02.827s
20 Jehan Daruvala Prema +1m46.358s
Ret Lirim Zendeli Campos Racing
Ret Theo Pourchaire ART Grand Prix
Fastest lap: Daruvala, 2m00.677s

Championship standings
Drugovich 205   2 Pourchaire 162   3 Sargeant 127   4 Doohan 121   5 Lawson 114   6 Fittipaldi 110   7 Iwasa 94   8 Daruvala 94   9 Vesti 91   10 Vips 87