Palmer, Vautier and Jousse all take wins at Silverstone Championship set to go down to the wire in two weeks time Jolyon Palmer, Tristan Vautier and Maxime Jousse all took wins at Silverstone this weekend (1/2/3 October) while the championship...
Palmer, Vautier and Jousse all take wins at Silverstone
Championship set to go down to the wire in two weeks time
Jolyon Palmer, Tristan Vautier and Maxime Jousse all took wins at Silverstone this weekend (1/2/3 October) while the championship race took several different turns during an enthralling triple-header.
Richard Plant led the standings coming into this penultimate event of the season, but the Sheffield driver endured a miserable time during qualifying as he could only muster two 13th place grid slots. Palmer made his return to FPA as he looks to keep himself sharp ahead of the FIA Formula Two Championship season finale in Barcelona in four weeks time. Clearly he has further improved during his debut season of international racing and he showed his undoubted talent during qualifying when he took a stunning double pole position.
The 18-year-old Briton went on to take a lights-to-flag victory during the opening race on Friday and he was followed home by two championship challengers in Vautier and Kazim Vasiliauskas. Both drivers closed the gap on Plant at the head of the standings as Plant could only finish tenth.
Vautier made a return to winning ways in race two and retook the lead of the championship in the process. The Frenchman got what he called 'the best start of his life' from sixth on the grid. He passed Bastian Graber, David Rotar and Paul Rees off the line, before pulling an audacious move around the outside of Palmer and Vasiliauskas at Copse Corner.
By the time the cars ran through Maggots for the first time, Vautier had an amazing lead that he would keep until the finish. Vasiliauskas finished second and Jousse completed the podium, whilst Plant was down in ninth.
This set up a dramatic final race of the weekend as the top three drivers were separated by just five points, with Vautier leading Plant by a single point, and Vasiliauskas a further four back.
Race three was full of incident as both Vautier and Vasiliauskas hit the self destruct button. First Vautier spun out of the lead having already built a comfortable gap back to second place Jousse, and then Vasiliauskas ended his race after heavy contact with debutant Ramon Pineiro. Vautier rejoined and was able to make his way back up to tenth at the finish, but it was Richard Plant who recaptured the standings lead with a seventh place finish. In truth it was Plant’s most difficult weekend of the season but he will be delighted to have left Northamptonshire with his championship lead still intact.
Jousse went on to take his maiden win in car racing ahead of the Emma Kimilainen and Paul Rees.
The title showdown takes place at Snetterton on 17/18 October with another triple-header set to decide the 2009 Formula Palmer Audi Championship. Plant leads Vautier by two points; Vasiliauskas is now 17 points off the lead in third, whilst Adam Foster still holds an outside chance of taking the title from a further seven points back.
Race one winner Jolyon Palmer said: "That was really great. I didn't think I had got such a great start but I looked in my mirrors and saw that I had a big gap. From then on I just managed the race and made sure I kept the gap back to Vautier. Scoring my first points in F2 at Imola recently was a boost for my confidence and it really shows the progress I have been making. I have proved that by coming back to FPA and showing how far I have moved forward in the last year."
Race two winner Tristan Vautier said: "This win feels really great after my disappointing weekend at Brands Hatch. It was the best start of my life and from then on I was able to manage the gap.”
Race three winner Maxime Jousse said: "This was a perfect race for me. I got a great start and was up to second. Then Tristan spun in front of me and I knew what I had to do. I am just so happy for my family, this really means so much to all of us. I love it here in England - I want to stay in FPA next season and try to win the championship."