Wilson wins a tactical race at Castle Combe
Drivers' Championship closes up
The boost button was critical in today's second Visma Formula Palmer Audi Championship race at Castle Combe, with Stefan Wilson managing the conditions best to take his second win of the season.
The result puts him just three points behind second-place Luciano Bacheta in the drivers' championship and with seven rounds to go Wilson says his eyes are on the top prize.
"I want to beat Bridgman but he has quite a good points lead on me," said Wilson, brother of ChampCar World Series contender Justin Wilson. "Today has done my confidence a lot of good though."
The race was action-packed with three leaders over just ten laps. The first was Tom Bradshaw but his race ended in a collision involving Jolyon Palmer, which resulted in a red flag just two laps in.
"I got a really good start and was up to third, challenging for the lead," said Palmer, son of FPA creator and former F1 driver Jonathan Palmer. "I got to the apex of the first turn and was trying to get a good exit when I got an absolute smack from behind and that's all I know about it.
"I damaged my rear wing and my steering was out as well. I made the restart from the pitlane and got up to 16th but couldn't make the finish."
The second race leader was Tim Bridgman, who made the best restart following the red flag but says tactics cost him the win. "Basically I was just a bit slow on the boost," said the Laser Motor Company driver. "I came out of Camp and didn't boost and Stefan did. By the time I did it was a bit late."
Wilson then led for two laps before the red flag brought a premature end to the race after three cars came off at quarry.
"I had a good start before it was red flagged the first time," said Wilson. "I went straight into the lead but then on the restart I lost out to Bridgman and Clarke so I had to do it all again. I used my boost wisely and got past Jack and just as I was behind Bridgman it started to rain. I still managed to go around the outside into Quarry. After that, the rain got heavier but grip was still there and I kept pushing to the end."
Third spot went to Jack Clarke, who started the race from sixth on the grid. "From sixth I think it was my plan to try and get on the podium," said the JTB Racing driver, stepson of former F1 driver Julian Bailey. "Obviously once I was into second a win was on the cards but I was a bit trigger-happy with my boost on the first two laps."
"I've had four podiums in the last five races now so it's all going quite well."
Rounds 14 and 15 of the FPA championship will be at Oulton Park on 11 August.
Visma Formula Palmer Audi Championship
Round 13 Classification
1. Stefan Wilson 9:48.010
2. Tim Bridgman 9:48.433
3. Jack Clarke 9:48.654
4. Jason Moore 9:48.976
5. Luciano Bacheta 9:50.861
6. Richard Plant 9:52.201
7. Ivan Lukashevich 9:53.201
8. Richard Kent 9:59.022
9. Alex Brundle 9:59.568
10. Nik Iruwan 10:04.270