to take early Winter Championship lead
Will Palmer claimed a double victory at Snetterton today (Saturday), to hold an early 12 point lead in the 2014 BRDC F4 Winter Championship.
Palmer won the first race of the weekend, despite finishing second on the road to Gaetano di Mauro, who was penalised 10 seconds for a false start. Palmer then dominated the second race from pole position, leading every lap on the way to a 4.6 second victory.
Di Mauro claimed pole position for race one in a damp qualifying session, but creeped forward from his grid position starting the race. He led by 2.2 seconds at the end of the first lap, but his position was wiped away when he was given the penalty. That dropped him to sixth place on the time sheets during the race, despite leading on the road.
Palmer set a string of fastest laps to close down the on road gap, and was constantly in the slipstream of the Brazilian driver, with the pair going wheel to wheel on lap seven.
The Brit knew di Mauro had a penalty though, and tucked in behind him for the remainder of the race, to take the win.
Di Mauro's lap times meant he was able to move ahead of the mid field runners on the time sheets, taking fifth on lap five, fourth on lap six, third on lap eight and finally second on lap nine.
Rodrigo Fonseca claimed his first F4 podium with third place for Douglas Motorsport, with Connor Jupp fourth ahead of debutant Harri Newey and Jordan Albert sixth. Newcomers Zubair Hoque and Fernando Urrutia were next up in seventh and eighth.
The grid for race two was determined by fastest race laps from the first encounter, and saw Palmer line up on pole from di Mauro and Newey.
Palmer made a good start from pole position to hold the lead on the run to Riches on lap one, while di Mauro held second. Connor Jupp was able to vault past Harri Newey to take third on lap one, while a quick starting Jordan Albert moved into fourth.
Palmer then set about building his lead, which stood at just under half a second on the first lap, setting a string of fastest laps to claim the win by 4.6 seconds.
Di Mauro ran in relatively clear air, while Jupp looked set for his maiden podium finish. But in the second half of the race, Albert began making serious inroads into the margin, while Newey was very much keeping up with Albert's pace.
Starting lap eight, very little separated Jupp and Albert, and the SWR - Caterham F1 driver was able to launch an attack around the outside of Riches, which he completed at Montreal to take third. Jupp eventually finished fourth ahead of Newey and Fonseca.
Palmer's championship lead at the end of the first day of the Winter Championship is 12 points, while di Mauro holds second. Jupp is third for Mectech Motorsport, with Albert and Fonseca equal on points in fourth and fifth.
Palmer commented: "It's been a great start to the Winter Championship for us. I knew I had the pace. I knew that if I could get off the line in the lead I would be able to pull away and take the win.
"The car was great, after the start it was just like qualifying - putting the laps in and pulling away. It's very cold so it's taking a lot of time to get the tyres up to temperature so they were just getting better and better as the race went on."
BRDC F4 Winter Championship, Snetterton race one result:
1. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, 10 laps2. Gaetano di Mauro, PetroBall Racing, +9.482s3. Rodrigo Fonseca, Douglas Motorsport, +11.550s4. Connor Jupp, Mectech Motorsport, +11.973s5. Harri Newey, HHC Motorsport, +12.835s6. Jordan Albert, SWR - Caterham F1, +17.277s7. Zubair Hoque, HHC Motorsport, +37.285s8. Fernando Urrutia, SWR - Caterham F1, +1m16.306sDNF. Enzo Bortoleto, PetroBall Racing, 7 laps
BRDC F4 Winter Championship, Snetterton race two result:
1. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, 10 laps2. Gaetano di Mauro, PetroBall Racing, +4.648s3. Jordan Albert, SWR - Caterham F1, +10.075s4. Connor Jupp, Mectech Motorsport, +11.979s5. Harri Newey, HHC Motorsport, +12.930s6. Rodrigo Fonseca, Douglas Motorsport, +14.740s7. Zubair Hoque, HHC Motorsport, +21.444s8. Fernando Urrutia, SWR - Caterham F1, +28.332s9. Enzo Bortoleto, PetroBall Racing, +30.947s
BRDC F4 Winter Championship standings after race two of eight:
1. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, 70pts2. Gaetano di Mauro, PetroBall Racing, 58pts3. Connor Jupp, Mectech Motorsport, 42pts4. Jordan Albert, SWR – Caterham F1, 41pts5. Rodrigo Fonseca, Douglas Motorsport, 41pts6. Harri Newey, HHC Motorsport, 38pts7. Zubair Hoque, HHC Motorsport, 30pts8. Fernando Urrutia, SWR – Caterham F1, 26pts9. Enzo Bortoleto, PetroBall Racing, 12pts
The action resumes at Snetterton tomorrow with the second qualifying session at 9.30, with two further races at 11.10 and 14.10.