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Palmer takes commanding win in race one at Brands Hatch

Saturday, August 01 2015

Will Palmer took a lights-to-flag victory in race one on the Grand Prix circuit at Brands Hatch as he extended his championship lead with his fifth win of the year. Ecurie Ecosse Young Driver Ciaran Haggerty finished as runner-up and he led Chris Dittmann Racing’s Tom Jackson who crossed the line in third.

Having claimed a dominant pole position in qualifying, Palmer made a strong getaway as the lights went out to start the race and he led the field into Paddock Hill Bend. Behind, his HHC Motorsport team-mate Harri Newey made a sluggish getaway from the front row and he was overtaken by Ciaran Haggerty and Tom Jackson, relegating him to fourth.

The grid filtered through the first turn without incident but Lanan Racing’s Jack Bartholomew and Hillspeed’s Ameya Vaidyanathan then tangled at Druids, forcing them both into retirement and bringing out the safety car. As the marshals worked to recover both of the stricken machines, the field circulated under neutral conditions and a number of racing laps were lost as a result.

When the action resumed, Palmer immediately began to push and he started to extend his advantage over Scottish racer Haggerty in second. By the end of the fifth lap, the HHC Motorsport driver had a gap of 1.357s over Haggerty, aided by the 18-year-old setting a new lap record around the Grand Prix track.

A succession of quick laps continued to lower the newly set lap record and Palmer eventually toured the track in a 1m25.462s, helping him to move away from Haggerty. With ten laps completed, Palmer looked comfortable out front as he led the Ecosse driver by 2,388s. Further back, Harri Newey began closing on third-place man Tom Jackson in pursuit of the final podium place but he couldn’t quite get close enough to attempt a move as the race edged towards its conclusion.

The Lanan Racing pairing of Chris Mealin and Rodrigo Fonseca enjoyed a good scrap with Sisa Ngebulana, with Mealin eventually coming out on top to claim eighth ahead of South African Ngebulana and Mexican racer Fonseca. Further ahead, Jack Lang, running alongside Douglas Motorsport this weekend, held off the late advances of Snetterton winner Omar Ismail and he came home in fifth.

Championship leader Palmer completed the final lap without incident and took the win by 3.442s from Haggerty, with Jackson a further 3.800s adrift in third. Newey had to settle for fourth ahead of Lang and Ismail. Jordan Albert claimed seventh for Sean Walkinshaw Racing with Mealin, Ngebulana and Fonseca rounding out the top-10.

The top-three were presented with their trophies by British GT driver and BRDC member James Nash.

Palmer’s victory means he extends his lead in the championship to 49 points over second placed man Rodrigo Fonseca. Tom Jackson closes to within 19 points of the Mexican with Newey and Haggerty moving into fourth and fifth in the standings respectively.

Duo BRDC Formula 4 – Brands Hatch GP – Race one 

1. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, 12 Laps
2. Ciaran Haggerty, Ecurie Ecosse/GBR, +3.442s
3. Tom Jackson, Chris Dittmann Racing, +7.242s
4. Harri Newey, HHC Motorsport, +7.685s
5. Jack Lang, Lang Sport/Gorse Motors, +12.489s
6. Omar Ismail, Chris Dittmann Racing, +12.895s
7. Jordan Albert, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, +13.412s
8. Chris Mealin, Lanan Racing, +20.284s
9. Sisa Ngebulana, HHC Motorsport, +23.732s
10. Rodrigo Fonseca, Lanan Racing, +24.005s
11. Akhil Rabindra, Douglas Motorsport, +24.483s
12. Fernando Urrutia, Douglas Motorsport, +25.339s
13. Faisal Al Zubair, Hillspeed, +30.651s
14. James Reveler, 23 Racing, +30.721s
15. Joe Stables, JR Racing, +41.677s
16. Zubair Hoque, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, +1m22.153s
17. Michael O'Brien, Chris Dittmann Racing, +1 Lap
DNF. Jack Bartholomew, Lanan Racing, 0 Laps
DNF. Ameya Vaidyanathan, Hillspeed, 0 Laps

Race two of the weekend gets underway at 10:50am tomorrow (Sunday) with live timing and text updates available on the BRDC Formula 4 website.