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GP Week : Issue 91
THE FIA's Formula Two championship is set to go down to the wire in the final three races this season, as title rivals Dean Stoneman and Jolyon Palmer remain inseparable after six hotly contested rounds in Europe and North Africa. Going into last weekend's Brands Hatch round of the 2010 championship, Palmer and Stoneman occupied the first two places in the standings, almost three race wins clear of the chasing pack and it was business as usual for the pair's second home race of the year, as they did battle on the historic Brands Hatch Grand Prix track. The spec series returned to existence at the behest of former FIA president Max Mosley in 2009 with the aim of becoming a strong feeder series to Formula One at an affordable price. Competitors pay £275,000 (US$420k) for a full season's racing, making top-level single-seater racing more accessible to a wider audience, while drivers work with different engineers at every race to ensure the driver with the very best skill is rewarded and not just those in the best teams. After a successful inaugural season, in which Spain's Andy Soucek triumphed before securing a reserve driver role at Virgin Racing, the Williams-designed JPH1 chassis and 1.8 litre Audi engine were tweaked to improve performance, resulting in a 1.5 second improvement in laptimes and making the series even more F1-relevant. As a supporting act to the World Touring Car Championship's (WTCC) European rounds, the series visits some of motor racing's most prestigious circuits, including Silverstone, Monza, Zolder, Portimao and Brands. Organisers had hoped to boost the entry list to 30 drivers for 2010, having run with 25 cars for much of 2009, but despite the reasonable entry cost just 22 drivers signed up to compete, once again highlighting the hit motor racing 24