20/09/2010 – Champion!!
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Stoneman Secures F2 title at First Attempt
Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th September 2010 – Valencia, Spain. Dean Stoneman has clinched the 2010 FIA Formula Two Championship and in doing so secures a prize test drive with the Williams Formula One team.
Stoneman secured the honours in the opening race at this weekend’s Valencian season finale, cruising home to a comfortable ninth place finish to build up an unassailable 27 point lead over his rival Palmer, who finished seventh.Dean Stoneman said: “I know what I needed to do and stuck to it. It’s a great result which has secured me the F2 title. I knew I had to be either ahead of Palmer or not far away from him in the points to win the championship in the first race. To go now into the race tomorrow as Champion will be fantastic!”
Race two on Sunday saw Stoneman start from third row of the grid in sixth. He wasted no time in moving up through the field, enjoying a couple of tussles along the way to finish on the podium in third, the thirteenth time this season he had visited the top three steps.
As his prize for securing the Formula Two crown, Stoneman will earn a full test with the Williams F1 team. He will also qualify for an FIA Super licence, required to compete in Formula One Grands Prix.
Stoneman reflected: The prize for winning the championship is amazing. It’s only just starting to settle in really. Getting into Formula One has always been my dream, and this just brings me one step closer to that. It’s hard to know what to expect, but it’s obviously a fantastic opportunity to be testing a Williams Formula One car, so hopefully I can prove myself. I’m just going to go there and do what I do best: get in the car and drive as fast as I can! In the meantime, I’m just going to enjoy being a champion.”
2010 marks Stoneman’s first season in the FIA Formula Two Championship and the British racer has shone amongst a international field of drivers, securing victories during F2’s inaugural visit to Marrakech,Morocco and his home circuit Brands Hatch in July. The newly-crowned champion has also taken race wins in Belgium, Portugal and a sensational double victory in the penultimate round at Oschersleben, Germany earlier this month.
Stoneman gained a reputation as one of the UK’s most exciting young prospects after a superb breakthrough year in the 2008 Formula Renault UK Championship, where he took three wins, nine podiums and three pole positions – a superior record than Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton’s debut season in the same formula.