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Jolyon Palmer ends weekend on high after impressive GP2 race two

Sunday, August 28 2011

Jolyon Palmer showed tremendous pace and overtaking prowess to finish an impressive 14th place during today's (Sunday) GP2 Sprint Race at Spa.

The Brit made up a superb eight places during the 18-lap race to end his weekend on a high after previously suffering mixed fortunes at the world famous Belgium circuit.

After starting at the back of the grid following an engine stoppage which cut short his race yesterday, the 20-year-old quickly made a move on Max Chilton on lap six to move into 21st position. Once past Chilton, the Southwater racer was able to lap on a pace very similar to the front runners and used this to overtake Rodolfo Gonzalez.

Jolyon, who races for Arden International, also made up places when Fabio Leimer crashed at Eau Rouge bringing out the safety car, and was able to gain further ground by passing Pal Verhaug just before the safety car emerged.

Racing resumed with seven laps remaining, with Jolyon moving up another spot on the first lap after the restart after capitalising on a spin at the Bus Stop chicane.

Jolyon was up to 15th on the next lap and then passed Mikhail Aleshin on lap 14 to move into 14th place. Marcus Ericsson moved past Jolyon while setting the fastest lap of the race on lap 15 dropping Jolyon to 15th, but Jolyon quickly moved back up to 14th on the penultimate lap by passing Michael Herck on the Kemmel straight after getting a good run out of Eau Rouge.

With Jolyon's race pace, the rookie would have likely finished in the top 10 given more time, especially as he was lapping around half a second quicker than several of the runners ahead of him. 

Speaking afterwards Jolyon said: "It was a good race; I started 20th and lost a place or two at the start but then got my head down and made a number of passes. The car was really good and the tyres didn't go off at all and so my pace was good right until the end. It is a better end to what has been a difficult weekend, hopefully we can improve again for Monza and finish on a high."

Meanwhile, Luca Filippi secured the overall honours for the race with Jules Bianchi finshing second and Josef Kral in third.

Jolyon is next in action on 9-11 September at Italy's Monza circuit with full coverage available on Jolyon's official website and Facebook page.

Results, GP2 Sprint Race - Spa Francorchamps:

1. L Filippi, Scuderia Coloni, 18 Laps
2. J Bianchi, Lotus ART, +4.4s
3. J Kral, Arden, +6.8s
4. R Grosjean, DAMS, +7.6s
5. S Bird, iSport, +8.9s
6. D Clos, Racing Engineering, +12.9s
7. E Gutierrez, Lotus ART, +14.3s
8. J Cecotto, Ocean, +19.3s
9. B Hartley, Ocean, +19.6s
14. J Palmer, Arden, +22.9s