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Dominant win for Palmer in race one at Snetterton

Saturday, August 22 2015

Championship leader Will Palmer claimed a lights-to-flag victory at Snetterton, and his seventh win of the year, with a faultless performance in the first race of the weekend in Norfolk. He led home a HHC Motorsport one-two as Harri Newey secured second with Chris Dittmann Racing’s Tom Jackson rounding out the podium in third.

Just as in qualifying, hot and sunny conditions greeted the Duo BRDC Formula 4 field as they headed out on to the grid for the start of race one. The sweltering weather was not appreciated by the drivers though when Fernando Urrutia’s car failed to get away on the green flag lap, causing a delayed start.

When the lights finally went out to begin the 10-lap race, following an additional green flag lap, Omar Ismail made a strong getaway from the front row to challenge pole-sitter Will Palmer into Riches. The championship leader managed to resist the Chris Dittmann Racing car however and maintained his position at the head of the field.

Further back, Harri Newey was overtaken by Tom Jackson and relegated to fourth, but re-gained the position when Maidstone racer Jackson made a mistake at the end of the opening lap. Ameya Vaidyanathan, who had posted his best qualifying performance of the year with seventh, dropped back early on and eventually came home in 16th.

On the second lap, Omar Ismail lost his second place and dropped down to fifth, and into the clutches of Hillspeed’s Faisal Al Zubair. That let Harri Newey inherit second with Tom Jackson moving into third, just ahead of Ciaran Haggerty. Rodrigo Fonseca, second-place in the overall standings, made a great start having qualified a disappointing 16th to move up to eighth and he was soon attacking his team-mate at Lanan Racing, Jack Bartholomew.

Palmer continued to extend his advantage at the front as Fonseca made a move on Bartholomew, securing seventh just before the halfway stage of the race. The battle continued apace as the race moved towards its conclusion and Bartholomew fought well to retake the position, before losing out to the Mexican on the penultimate lap with the 16-year-old eventually finishing 12th.

Omar Ismail had to defend in the closing stages of the race from Al Zubair, who attempted to overtake the Solihull youngster into Riches on numerous occasions. The Omani racer couldn’t quite get past Ismail, coming home just 0.090s behind his rival as they crossed the line, but still secured his best result of the year with sixth.

BRDC Rising Star Palmer, who had been untroubled throughout the race by setting numerous fastest laps, took the chequered flag 8.163s ahead of team-mate Newey, with Jackson coming home just under a second behind the 16-year-old. Ecurie Ecosse Young Driver Ciaran Haggerty took fourth with Ismail fifth. Douglas Motorsport’s Akhil Rabindra finished eighth which secured the Indian pole position for tomorrow’s reverse-grid race two, which gets underway at 10:35 on Sunday morning at Snetterton.

The top-three were presented with their trophies on the podium by McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner, and last year’s BRDC F4 Champion, George Russell.

The result extends Palmer’s lead in the standings to 89 points over Fonseca with Jackson closing in on the Lanan Racing man; the 18-year-old now just four points adrift in third. Newey’s runner-up position in race one moves him up to fourth ahead of Ciaran Haggerty, who is now fifth.

Duo BRDC Formula 4 Championship – Snetterton race one result

1. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, 10 Laps
2. Harri Newey, HHC Motorsport, +8.163s
3. Tom Jackson, Chris Dittmann Racing, +9.161s
4. Ciaran Haggerty, GBR/Ecurie Ecosse, +14.243s
5. Omar Ismail, Chris Dittmann Racing, +20.817s
6. Faisal Al Zubair, Hillspeed, +20.907s
7. Rodrigo Fonseca, Lanan Racing, +25.630s
8. Akhil Rabindra, Douglas Motorsport, +26.212s
9. Chris Mealin, Lanan Racing, +27.323s
10. Jack Lang, Lang Sport/Gorse Motors, +27.957s
11. Sisa Ngebulana, HHC Motorsport, +29.428s
12. Jack Bartholomew, Lanan Racing, +32.429s
13. Jordan Albert, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, +32.935s
14. Zubair Hoque, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, +34.720s
15. Joe Stables, JR Racing, +38.934s
16. Ameya Vaidyanathan, Hillspeed, +41.605s
17. Hernan Fallas, Hillspeed, +44.206s
18. James Reveler, 23 Racing, +49.979s
DNF. Fernando Urrutia, Douglas Motorsport, 0 Laps