Maloney earns first victory in Formula 2

BAHRAIN – Zane Maloney scored his first ever victory in Formula 2 as he recovered from eighth on the grid to win the Sprint Race at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Maloney overtook pole-sitter Crawford on Lap 8 before going off into the distance with the DAMS Lucas Oil driver finishing second. Josep María Martí completed a comeback of his own for Campos Racing, as he finished third after starting 11th.

Crawford made a brilliant start from pole while his fellow front row starter Taylor Barnard of PHM AIX Racing lost out on the run down to Turn 1, being passed by ART Grand Prix drivers Victor Martins and Zak O’Sullivan.

It proved to be a dire first lap for Barnard as he was down to ninth just as the Virtual Safety Car was called upon following a collision between Hitech Pulse-Eight’s Amaury Cordeel and Van Amersfoort Racing’s Rafael Villagómez.

As racing went back green to start Lap 3, Crawford resisted Martins’ attempts to take the lead, while Maloney was showing good pace as he dived down the inside of Enzo Fittipaldi at Turn 11.

The Rodin Motorsport driver was on a charge, using the soft tyres to his advantage and getting past the hard shod O’Sullivan for third at the start of Lap 4, and then Martins for second on Lap 6.

On Lap 18 Martí made his move down the inside at Turn 1 to pass Martins. The Campos pair now battled away for the final podium position as the Spanish driver cleared teammate Hadjar for third.

Martins’ woes continued as he lost fifth place to Aron and was soon under threat from Hauger.

Lap 22 and the battle for the final points-paying positions continued with Martins slow through the first corners, and he lost out to Hauger, Bortoleto, and his teammate O’Sullivan, dropping him out of the points.

At the front, Maloney had extended his gap over Crawford to five seconds and crossed the line to take his first ever F2 victory. Martí placed third ahead of teammate Hadjar, with Aron rounding out the top five.

Maloney said: “Of course, I’m very happy to win the race, we started in P8, got a great start and the team just gave me an amazing car. So, it is all down to them, and we will go for it tomorrow.”

Maloney’s victory and fastest lap gives Rodin Motorsport 11 points, and they are tied at the top of the Championship Standings alongside Campos. With Martí in third place and Hadjar’s P4 finish, the Spanish team also have 11 points going into Saturday, while DAMS are third with eight points thanks to Crawford. (

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