Palmer returns to winning ways in Monaco opener

Will Palmer took race one honours in Monaco - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Will Palmer withstood the pressure from Sacha Fenestraz to win the opening Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship race of the weekend around the streets of Monaco on Saturday.

Starting from pole position, Palmer kept the lead at the start, which was remarkably clean with twenty-eight cars on the grid, and then controlled the pace at the front until the chequered flag to win, with the R-ace GP driver regaining the lead in the Drivers’ Championship as a result.

Despite appearing to have more pace in the initial stages of the race, Fenestraz could not find a way passed his rival, with the Josef Kaufmann Racing driver finishing 1.644 seconds behind Palmer for his fourth second place of 2017.

Max Defourny completed the podium, also for R-ace GP after finally finding a way passed team-mate Robert Shwartzman on the penultimate lap on the way up the hill to Massenet. The two had battled hard for the whole race but after applying pressure, the Belgian finally dispatched the Russian, and showed that he had been held up by Shwartzman by setting the fastest lap on the final lap.

Richard Verschoor was the first rookie home in fifth for MP Motorsport, with the Red Bull Junior having made a good start to jump Arden Motorsport’s Daniel Ticktum into the first corner, with the Briton being forced to settle for sixth as a result, just ahead of Fortec MotorsportsAlex Peroni and Tech 1 Racing’s Gabriel Aubry.

Alexey Korneev was ninth for Fortec Motorsports, while JD Motorsport’s Aleksandr Vartanyan completed the top ten at the end of the eighteen-lap race.

There were a couple of incidents further down the pack, with Presley Martano hitting the barriers at St. Devote, with Thomas Neubauer doing the same at La Rascasse, while Frank Bird was also an early retiree.

Axel Matus had a spin at St. Devote but was able to keep his AVF by Adrian Vallés car out of the barriers, and was able to resume, albeit at the back of the field, although he finished ahead of Thomas Maxwell, who was forced to make an unscheduled trip to the pit lane for a new front wing.

Richard Verschoor took rookie honours in race one – Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Monaco Race 1 Result

18Will PalmerGBRR-ace GP27:51.860s
211Sacha FenestrazFRAJosef Kaufmann Racing+1.644s
39Max DefournyBELR-ace GP+2.658s
410Robert ShwartzmanRUSR-ace GP+4.053s
529Richard VerschoorNEDMP Motorsport+6.419s
633Daniel TicktumGBRArden Motorsport+9.444s
717Alex PeroniAUSFortec Motorsports+11.273s
84Gabriel AubryFRATech 1 Racing+11.990s
918Aleksey KorneevRUSFortec Motorsports+18.464s
1023Aleksandr VartanyanRUSJD Motorsport+19.220s
111Yifei YeCHNJosef Kaufmann Racing+22.780s
1231Neil VerhagenUSAMP Motorsport+24.350s
1330Jarno OpmeerNEDMP Motorsport+25.102s
142Luis LeedsAUSJosef Kaufmann Racing+33.011s
1514Rodrigo PfluckerPERAVF by Adrian Valles+33.710s
167Max FewtrellGBRTech 1 Racing+34.255s
1713Henrique ChavesPORAVF by Adrian Valles+34.851s
1893Zane GoddardAUSArden Motorsport+35.299s
1912Raul GuzmanMEXR-ace GP+36.522s
2016Gregoire SaucySWIAVF by Adrian Valles+54.393s
2134Ghislain CordeelBELArden Motorsport+59.037s
2222Jean Baptiste SimmenauerFRAJD Motorsport+1:02.013s
2321Sun Yue YangCHNJD Motorsport+1:03.362s
2415Axel MatusMEXAVF by Adrian Valles+1:18.037s
255Thomas MaxwellAUSTech 1 Racing+1 Lap
RET26Presley MartonoINOMark Burdett MotorsportRetired
RET6Thomas NeubauerFRATech 1 RacingRetired
RET19Frank BirdGBRFortec MotorsportsRetired