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Perfect drive from Palmer secures maiden single seater win

Saturday, November 23 2013

Will Palmer claimed a first single seater win with a perfect drive from pole position in today's first BRDC F4 Winter Championship race of the weekend at Brands Hatch to launch himself right into title contention.

Matty Graham claimed second for Douglas Motorsport with his immediate title rival Jake Cook in third for Hillspeed. Sennan Fielding claimed fourth for HHC Motorsport ahead of newcomer Kieran Vernon, while a fightback drive from Pietro Fittipaldi saw him take sixth for MGR.

Palmer made a great start to lead into Paddock Hill Bend, resisting early pressure from championship leader Graham who drew alongside heading to the first corner. Graham's title rival Cook also made a good start to launch past Fittipaldi, who then spun down the order at Druids.

Palmer led by 0.2 seconds at the end of the first lap, and extended his lead to one second by the end of lap six, before the safety car was deployed to recover the stranded car of Gosia Rdest at Clearways.

Palmer made a great restart when the race resumed at the end of lap nine, and pulled out an immediate lead of 0.7 seconds. Graham in second began to close the gap by fractions on each lap, while Cook and Fielding also began to close, with the top four covered by 1.4 seconds at one stage.

On lap 16, Graham was just 0.3 seconds away from Palmer as the pair exchanged fastest laps, but the HHC driver then put his foot down to stretch his lead once more. By lap 20, Palmer's lead was up to one second, and over the next five laps extended the margin further to take the flag by 1.5 seconds and take his maiden single seater win in just his fifth F4 race.

Graham held off the challenge of Cook to take second and extend his championship lead to seven points, while Sennan Fielding took fourth for HHC, just 0.1s away from third place Cook.

Newcomer Kieran Vernon had a solid race to take fifth on his F4 debut, while Fittipaldi recovered from his spin to take sixth. MGR team mate Ferrer claimed seventh ahead of Enigma's Falco Wauer, with Fredrik Johansen ninth for Chris Dittmann Racing. Dimitris Papanastasiou was the final finisher, and a lap down after an early spin at Clearways.

Fastest lap honours went to Sennan Fielding who will therefore start race two on pole, with Vernon starting second.

Speaking afterwards, an ecstatic Will Palmer commented: "That was a great race. At the start I managed to just hold off Matty [Graham] into the first corner and then got my head down before and after the safety car. At one point he had me under a lot of pressure but I kept on putting in quick times.

"The following drivers were having a good scrap and I managed to pull out a nice gap in the final stages and take the win. We start third for race two now, and hopefully that means I can get another podium!"

BRDC F4 Winter Championship, Brands Hatch Indy, Race 1 result:

1. Will Palmer
2. Matty Graham
3. Jake Cook
4. Sennan Fielding
5. Kieran Vernon
6. Pietro Fittipaldi
7. Matteo Ferrer
8. Falco Wauer
9. Fredrik Johansen
10. Dimitris Papanastasiou