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Race one victory for Palmer at Brands Hatch

Saturday, September 26 2015

Will Palmer claimed his 11th victory of the year with a commanding win in race one of the weekend at Brands Hatch today (Saturday). He came home nearly 10 seconds clear of Fernando Urrutia and Rodrigo Fonseca, the two Mexicans crossing the line in close order.

Palmer, who claimed the 2015 title last time out at Donington Park, started from pole position but as the lights went out, he came under pressure from fellow front-row starter Urrutia as the field dived into Paddock Hill Bend for the first time. The Douglas Motorsport driver hung on around the outside of the BRDC Rising Star and edged his nose ahead into Druids. The HHC Motorsport man didn’t back off however and kept the inside line into the hairpin at the top of the track to retake the lead.

Apart from Omar Ismail, who was unable to get away from the grid, the rest of the pack made a clean start with Harri Newey getting past Jack Lang for ninth and Jordan Albert making up one place from his starting position of seventh, moving ahead of Jack Bartholomew.

After three laps, Palmer opened up a one second advantage over Urrutia in second as his team-mate Newey overtook Hillspeed’s Faisal Al Zubair to take eighth, and the provisional pole position for the reverse-grid race two. Fonseca sat in third ahead of Ciaran Haggerty, Sisa Ngebulana, Jordan Albert and Jack Bartholomew.

As Palmer began posting fastest laps to extend the gap at the front, Newey was putting Lanan Racing’s Bartholomew under pressure for seventh. Chris Dittmann Racing’s Tom Jackson, who headed into the weekend third in the overall standings behind Newey was struggling to make progress from 15th on the grid, but overtook Zubair Hoque for 14th approaching the halfway point of the race.

Ecurie Ecosse Young Driver Haggerty meanwhile attempted to get past Fonseca for third into Paddock Hill but lost momentum in the process and South African Ngebulana slipped through on the exit to move up to fourth. On lap fourteen, Palmer posted a race best lap time of 45.393s, a new lap record, as he extended his lead over Urrutia to more than five seconds.

A real scrap had developed further back with Newey trying to overtake Bartholomew for seventh at Druids, but going wide and allowing Lang to slip through to take eighth. Only a few laps later however, Lang made a clean move on Bartholomew in his distinctive orange-liveried car and Newey followed him through into Druids.

With two laps remaining, the order of the top-10 remained the same but that was to change when Sisa Ngebulana ran wide exiting Clearways and headed into the gravel. He managed to recover back on to the circuit but Haggerty and Albert profited from his misfortune, the duo moving up to fourth and fifth respectively.

As the chequered flag came out to end the 25-lap race, Palmer crossed the line 9.716s ahead of Urrutia, who claimed his first BRDC Formula 4 podium of the season, with his fellow Mexican Rodrigo Fonseca third. Haggerty settled for fourth ahead of Albert, Ngebulana and Lang, with Harri Newey claiming race two pole position with eighth. The Lanan Racing pairing of Jack Bartholomew and Chris Mealin rounded out the top-10.

The top-three drivers stepped on to the podium and were presented with their trophies by ex-Formula One driver and BRDC member, Max Chilton. Palmer’s win puts him 141 points clear of Newey in second, with Newey extending his lead over Tom Jackson to 14 points. Ciaran Haggerty is a further 10 points adrift in fourth, with Fonseca’s podium meaning he is nine points behind the Scot in fifth.

Race two of the weekend gets underway at 11:20 tomorrow (Sunday) morning with the third race, the final one of the 2015 season, starting at 15:45.

Duo BRDC Formula 4 Championship - Brands Hatch Indy - Race One

1. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, 25 Laps
2. Fernando Urrutia, Douglas Motorsport, +9.716s
3. Rodrigo Fonseca, Lanan Racing, +10.298s
4. Ciaran Haggerty, Ecurie Ecosse/GBR, +11.049s
5. Jordan Albert, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, +12.380s
6. Sisa Ngebulana, HHC Motorsport, +15.292s
7. Jack Lang, Lang Sport/Gorse Motors, +18.399s
8. Harri Newey, HHC Motorsport, +18.903s
9. Jack Bartholomew, Lanan Racing, +23.615s
10. Chris Mealin, Lanan Racing, +23.967s
11. Ameya Vaidyanthan, Hillspeed, +24.276s
12. Faisal Al Zubair, Hillspeed, +24.419s
13. Tom Jackson, Chris Dittmann Racing, +24.924s
14. Akhil Rabindra, Douglas Motorsport, +25.217s
15. Hernan Fallas, Hillspeed, +26.116s
16. Zubair Hoque, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, +27.832s
17. Joe Stables, JR Racing, +32.939s
18. James Reveler, 23 Racing, +33.380s
DNF. Omar Ismail, Chris Dittmann Racing, 0 Laps