FIRST FPA WIN FOR JOLYON PALMER Hamilton nets podium on return from injury It was a day of firsts in Round 9 of the 2007 Visma Formula Palmer Audi Championship at Brands Hatch, as Jolyon Palmer took his first single-seater win, second-placed...
FIRST FPA WIN FOR JOLYON PALMER
Hamilton nets podium on return from injury
It was a day of firsts in Round 9 of the 2007 Visma Formula Palmer Audi Championship at Brands Hatch, as Jolyon Palmer took his first single-seater win, second-placed Jack Clarke netted his first podium in the series and Matt Hamilton came third and secured a podium finish in his first race back after suffering a broken leg.
Palmer made a poor start from his third pole position of the year, with Tim Bridgman and Clarke both making it through by the time the field reached Paddock Hill Bend. Palmer wasted little time recouping the top spot, passing Clarke on lap three of 30 and closing down Bridgman, taking a lead he would hold to the end of lap nine. Palmer had to withstand a safety car period after Nik Iruwan spun at Paddock but had little difficulty with the restart and took victory by just under a second.
"I'm still struggling with my starts at Brands Hatch for some reason, but I'm really happy with the way I recovered," said the 16-year-old, who becomes the youngest race winner in FPA history. "It was a tough race for many different reasons, but it's a big confidence boost with two more races coming up tomorrow."
Clarke, meanwhile, kept a close watching brief on Palmer and, having narrowly missed out on podiums previously, was delighted to finally break into the top three. "It's been a long time coming - and it was especially rewarding to get my first podium in such a competitive race. There really wasn't any respite and I know I can go out tomorrow and get on the podium again."
But many plaudits were reserved to Hamilton, who made his return to racing just nine weeks after breaking his femur in Round 2 at Silverstone. Having dropped to fifth at the start, he took advantage of an incident ahead of him on lap 23 where Dominik Jackson took to the grass at Surtees while trying to pass Bridgman. Jackson pushed Bridgman wide into Clearways as he rejoined and Hamilton pounced with the overboost to pass both down Brabham Straight and take third.
"It's been such a tough race for me both physically and mentally, so a podium on my return is as much as I could ask for!" said the 17-year-old. "I think Dominik just caught a bump on the outside, which was really unfortunate for him as he'd driven a good race."
Tim Bridgman, having built up a two-second lead early on, fell back to fourth ahead of Jason Moore, who worked his way up to fifth. Luciano Bacheta put in a valiant effort to finish sixth, gaining two places after Stefan Wilson and Jackson collided at Paddock on the penultimate lap. Tom Bradshaw and Richard Plant were seventh and eighth respectively, with Chris Bell ninth and Richard Kent in 10th.
The results mean that Tim Bridgman and Luciano Bacheta are now tied on 159 points each at the top of the table, with two more races to take place tomorrow afternoon.
FPA - Round 9 Result
1. Jolyon Palmer 30 laps in 24m24.474s
2. Jack Clarke +1.935s
3. Matt Hamilton +2.963s
4. Tim Bridgman +3.309s
5. Jason Moore +6.086s
6. Luciano Bacheta +8.612s
7. Tom Bradshaw +9.323s
8. Richard Plant +9.881s
9. Chris Bell +10.770s
10. Richard Kent +11.301s
11. Ivan Lukashevich +12.090s
12. Chris Chubb +12.646s
13. Stefan Wilson +16.978s
14. Mark Powell +17.395s
15. Doros Loucaides +17.719s
16. Derrick Collin +18.121s
17. Max Snegirev +19.669s
Did Not Finish
Dominik Jackson 28 Laps Completed
Alex Brundle 15 Laps Completed
Russell Small 15 Laps Completed
Nik Iruwan 14 Laps Completed
Jeremy Preddy 2 Laps Completed
Fastest Lap - Jack Clarke, Lap 6 - 45.684s