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Palmer extends championship lead with wet BRDC F4 win at Snetterton

Sunday, July 12 2015

Will Palmer took advantage of a great start to claim his fourth win of the season in a wet race three at Snetterton. Starting third, the 18-year-old jumped both Harri Newey and Omar Ismail as the lights went out to lead into the first turn, an advantage he wouldn't relinquish. Pole-sitter, and Palmer's HHC Motorsport team-mate, Harri Newey took second with Ecurie Ecosse youngster Ciaran Haggerty rounding out the podium in third.

By virtue of his fastest lap in race one, Newey headed the field but as the lights went out to start the race, it was his team-mate Palmer who got the best getaway and he rocketed past the front-row of Newey and Ismail to arrive at Riches first. Ismail managed to squeeze past Newey for second with Jordan Albert forced into retirement as a result of contact as he looked to pass the 16-year-old.

Newey quickly regained second spot however by overtaking Ismail, before the Chris Dittmann Racing man spun off at Coram, dropping down to fifth and promoting his team-mate Tom Jackson into the top-three. Michael O'Brien made a similar mistake and was relegated down to 13th.

After four laps, Newey had closed back up to championship leader Palmer with the gap just 0.726s between the pair. Ciaran Haggerty, starting from 14th, had made his way through the pack in the early stages and was right behind the third-placed car of Jackson, 0.213s the gap at that stage. It didn't take long for the Ecurie Ecosse Young Driver to pass Jackson through Riches and he assumed third place.

Having fended off the early pressure from Newey, Palmer posted a string of fastest laps to extend the gap and with two laps remaining, his leads was up to 4.017s. Their HHC Motorsport team-mate Sisa Ngebulana suffered a spin whilst in fifth, which promoted the recovering Omar Ismail into the top-five.

Heading on to the final circuit, Palmer led by over six seconds and eventually finished 7.011s clear of runner-up Newey, with Ciaran Haggerty crossing the line 15 seconds later to complete the podium. The Chris Dittmann Racing pairing of Tom Jackson and Omar Ismail finished fourth and fifth respectively.

Other strong drives came from Rodrigo Fonseca, who climbed to seventh from 17th and fellow Mexican Fernando Urrutia, who moved up from 20th on the grid to take eighth. Palmer's win means he now holds a lead of 25 points over Fonseca in the overall standings, with Tom Jackson an additional 32 points back in third.

The top-three were presented with their trophies by ex-Formula One driver and 1982 British Formula Three Champion, Tommy Byrne.

Speaking on the podium, winner Will Palmer said: "It was one of the best starts I have ever made. Coming from third, I just went straight through the middle and into the lead. I came under a little bit of pressure early on and the conditions were absolutely awful out there. I managed to get into a rhythm however and took the win. There are lots of different wet lines around here so I was searching for them to find the extra grip and it seemed to work quite well."

Duo BRDC Formula 4 Championship - Snetterton - Race three

1. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, 10 Laps
2. Harri Newey, HHC Motorsport, +7.011s
3. Ciaran Haggerty, Ecurie Ecosse/GBR, +22.483s
4. Tom Jackson, Chris Dittmann Racing, +31.991s
5. Omar Ismail, Chris Dittmann Racing, +37.267s
6. Jack Lang, Lang Sport/Gorse Motors, +50.564s
7. Rodrigo Fonseca, Lanan Racing, +54.371s
8. Fernando Urrutia, Douglas Motorsport, +1m07.968s
9. Sisa Ngebulana, HHC Motorsport, +1m08.873s
10. Chris Mealin, Lanan Racing, +1m09.462s
11. Jack Bartholomew, Lanan Racing, +1m14.846s
12. Akhil Rabindra, Douglas Motorsport, +1m21.723s
13. Zubair Hoque, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, +1m25.418s
14. Faisal Al Zubair, Hillspeed, +1m34.812s
15. Michael O'Brien, Chris Dittmann Racing, +1m39.069s
16. Ameya Vaidyanathan, Hillspeed, +1m40.460s
17. James Reveler, 23 Racing, +1m47.046s
18. Marc Gonzalez, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, +1m48.505s
19. Joe Stables, JR Racing, +1 Lap
DNF. Jordan Albert, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, 0 Laps

Rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the Duo BRDC Formula 4 Championship take place on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit in Kent on August 1/2, and you can follow all the action via the official BRDC Formula 4 website.