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Brilliant GP2 drive by Jolyon Palmer nets points finish from back of grid

Saturday, March 23 2013

Jolyon Palmer produced a brilliant drive during today's (Saturday, 23 March) GP2 Feature Race at Sepang, Malaysia, making up an outstanding 16 places from the rear of the grid to finish sixth.

Starting from P22 after a throttle issue left him struggling for pace in yesterday's qualifying session, Jolyon made a lightning start and managed to survive heavy contact from behind by Dams driver Marcus Ericsson to gain an impressive 10 places by the end of the opening lap.

After quickly dispatching Trident's Nathanael Berthon, it wasn't long before the 22-year-old Brit was hot on the heels of 10th place Sergio Canamasas, overtaking the Caterham driver on the inside of Turn 1 and repeating the same move a lap later on Racing's Julian Leal to put himself into a points position by lap five.

Jolyon continued to push as the sun-soaked race progressed, showing strong pace on the hard tyres and opting to stay out as the rest of the field headed to the pits. By lap 11 his pit stop strategy meant his was now leading the race and seven seconds ahead of second placed man Berthon, despite slight damage to his front wing.  

Pitting from the lead on lap 20, Jolyon was the last driver to stop for new tyres. Switching to softs, he re-emerged in sixth and immediately set a personal best as he chased down Leal ahead with nine laps to go. He was unable to further improve though as the chequered flag was waved, claiming a much deserved points finish and meaning he'll start tomorrow's 22-lap Sprint Race from third.

"I made a great start and had a good first two laps and then I just focused on pushing as hard as possible," said Jolyon. "We had a good strategy and the pit stop was perfect. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow and starting from third." 
Meanwhile, Racing's Fabio Leimer secured the win ahead of ART's James Calado and Stefano Coletti driving for Rapax.

Jolyon returns to the track tomorrow at 04:15 (UK time) for the final race of the weekend with full coverage on his official website www.jolyonpalmer.com

GP2 Malaysia, Feature Race results:

1. F Leimer, Racing, 31 laps
2. J Calado, ART, +2.0s
3. S Coletti, Rapax, +11.2s
4. F Nasr, Carlin, +12.8s
5. J Leal, Racing, +28.8s
6. J Palmer, Carlin, +34.2s
7. S Bird, Russian Time, +41.1s
8. S Richelmi, Dams, +58.9s
9. S Trummer, Rapax, +62.8s
10. M Evans, Arden, +73.7s