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Palmer takes stunning Singapore GP2 Feature Race victory

Saturday, September 21 2013

Jolyon Palmer has stormed to his second GP2 Feature Race victory of the year, after an astounding drive on the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore.

The 22-year-old has been the man to beat in Singapore all weekend after setting fastest lap in practice before following that up with his maiden GP2 pole position in qualifying.

From pole position, he suffered a slow start, but fought back brilliantly to catch and pass team mate Felipe Nasr in the closing stages, despite being over 13 seconds behind mid race.

After passing his team mate with four laps to go, he then blasted into the distance to take victory by 13 seconds, with Nasr coming home second to make it a Carlin 1-2.

Jolyon's victory also makes it two wins in two consecutive weekends for the Palmer family, with brother Will securing his first Ginetta Junior triumph at Rockingham last weekend.

Off the start Jolyon bogged down and was dropped to fourth place at the first corner. He immediately began his fight back to take James Calado for third place at turn 10 and then focussed his attentions on Fabio Leimer running in second. Palmer made the move for second on lap four, but by now was 5.2 seconds behind Nasr.

But Jolyon, who has looked unbeatable all weekend immediately set fastest lap and began to close the gap to his team mate. By the time Nasr pitted for his compulsory pit stop on lap nine, the gap had come down to 3.6 seconds.

Jolyon opted to pit on lap 12, but emerged 10.7 seconds behind Nasr. The gap extended to 13.4 seconds, and with the win looking unlikely, Jolyon began his charge.

On lap 16 Jolyon set the first of a string of three fastest laps, bringing the gap down to 10 seconds by the end of lap 18. Bringing the race alive, his pace further improved and on the next lap he took 2.6 seconds out of his Brazilian team mate to reduce the gap to 7.5 seconds. Consistently over 1.5 seconds faster than his rival, with four laps remaining the gap between the Carlin pair was non existent.

It looked inevitable that Jolyon would make a move for the lead, and on the run down to turn seven on lap 25, the 22-year old blasted past his team mate, leaving Nasr with no answer. Jolyon then showed just how fast he was by extending a lead of 13 seconds over the next four laps to clinch a thrilling victory.

Speaking after the race an elated Jolyon commented: "I didn't make it easy for myself! At the start I got anti stall and dropped to fourth or fifth. It was crucial to make the early passes so I could chase Felipe. I think that was one of the drives of my life and it's definitely been the weekend of my life.

"It's always tough with the tyres and the temperatures were really hot so it was always going to be tough. We decided just to change the rears and did the full 28 laps on the same front tyres. I enjoy this style of racing but it's always on your mind to save the tyres. I think chasing Felipe down from 13 seconds behind was a real challenge but I was very relieved to pass him!"

The victory, plus the points for pole position, elevates Jolyon up to sixth in the GP2 standings. With the top eight finishers in the race reversed on the grid for tomorrow's Sprint Race, Jolyon will start from eighth place, with the race starting at 9.10AM UK time.

Singapore GP2 Feature Race result

1. Jolyon Palmer, Carlin, 28 laps
2. Felipe Nasr, Carlin, +13.0s
3. James Calado, ART, +25.1s
4. Stephane Richelmi, DAMS, +25.7s
5. Fabio Leimer, Racing Engineering, +28.2s
6. Tom Dillmann, RUSSIAN TIME, +38.5s
7. Marcus Ericsson, DAMS, +45.4s
8. Sam Bird, RUSSIAN TIME, +45.6s
9. Jon Lancaster, Hilmer Motorsport, +51.9s
10. Dani Clos, MP Motorsport, +56.9s

For more information on Jolyon Palmer, visit his official website www.jolyonpalmer.com.