Palmer Joins F4 Winners Club at Snetterton

by Nick Smith

Will Palmer is celebrating his first win in the main BRDC Formula 4 Championship after the first race of the weekend at Snetterton. The HHC Motorsport driver claimed the victory in a daredevil move on his team mate Raoul Hyman, adding a full championship race victory to his Winter Series win from 2013. Hyman held onto second place in the ten lap clash on the Snetterton 300 circuit.

The pole sitting Lanan Racing car of George Russell initially held the advantage but lost out to Hyman at Agostini. Will Palmer also fell behind his team mate in the run to the first corner, but held onto third place, taking a lap or two to position himself to move up. Hyman in the meantime put a second between himself and Russell in the second half of the lap but was unable to complete his escape.

On lap three when the #8 machine put an ill-advised move on Hyman at Brundle on lap three, Palmer was in position to capitolise. It was all change with Russell into third and Palmer streaking away at the front. By the close of the race the #3 machine had built an almost four second advantage. Along the way he smashed the standing lap record for the BRDC Formula 4 Championship at Snetterton.

As the laps counted down Russell planned and prepared a move on Hyman but there just wasn’t enough time left. They crossed the line covered by a quarter of a second, Hyman joining his victorious team mate in a HHC 1-2.

Sennan Fielding made it three HHC in the top four after climbing from sixth on the grid to fourth, demoting Sean Walkinshaw Racing’s Nicolas Beer to fifth in the process. Gustavo Lima put his Hillspeed machine into sixth ahead of Douglas Motorsport’s Diego Menchaca, who climbed from tenth on the grid un-noticed due to the action at the head of the field.

Arjun Manini took eighth for Lanan Racing with Struan Moore in ninth, making Lanan one of two teams to have all of their drivers in the top ten. MGR Motorsport’s Chris Middlehurst slipped a place in his race and dropped to tenth.

The final eight racers included Rahul Raj Mayer who climbed a single place from twelfth for Hillspeed and David Wagner. The second of the MGR drivers made great gains in the race, jumping from eighteenth on the grid to twelfth over the course of the race, the biggest rise of anyone. He finished ahead of Roderigo Fonseca for Douglas, Gaetano di Mauro for Petroball Racing and the third Douglas car of Charlie Eastwood. Tom Jackson’s Chris Dittmann Racing machine and the SWR drivers Diego Borrelli and Jordan Albert rounded out the field.

Dan Roeper retired his Petroball run machine after six lap. He pitted early on to have grass cleaned out of the radiators but never got back up to speed, he was gone to the paddock before Palmer even took the flag. Also in the list of retirements was MGR’s Michael Claessens who drove a strong race until he misjudged the penultimate lap. He spun out and beached ending his race.

The BRDC Formula 4 Championship returns to action tomorrow morning at 10:55 with the second of three races.

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