Jolyon Enjoys Impressive Gp2 Weekend
West Sussex racer Jolyon Palmer makes eye-catching start to inaugural GP2 season with superb top 10 finish in race two.
British racing talent Jolyon Palmer made an impressive start to his inaugural GP2 season in Turkey this weekend, securing a top 10 finish in only his second race after climbing through the pack and making up a remarkable eight places.
The 20-year-old from Southwater, West Sussex, son of former Formula 1 driver Jonathan, battled his way from 17th on the grid at the Istanbul Speed Park to finish inside the top 10 and just shy of a points finish during his first main series event.
Jolyon, who narrowly missed out on the FIA Formula Two Championship title last year, also impressed earlier in the weekend by qualifying 13th and the top rookie driver in Friday’s qualifying session – despite having never raced at the 5.338km track before.
On Saturday Jolyon endured a difficult race one finishing a frustrating 17th after sustaining damage early on which forced him to make an unscheduled pit stop to repair damage to his front nose. This result then determined his start position for Sunday’s race two.
Speaking after the weekend, Jolyon, who races for Arden International in the Formula 1 feeder-series, said: “We had a solid first weekend where as a team we learnt a huge amount. I had a disappointing first race where I lost time avoiding a crash and then damaged my front wing early on forcing me to pit for a new nose. After this I just had a lonely race as the pit stop took a long time but my pace was good which was encouraging.
“In race two I had some clutch issues early on but I managed my tyres and held position. For some reason I was also suffering with straight line speed and was a sitting duck on the straights. As the race wore on though I started moving through the field to 11th. The safety car period didn't help because my car was feeling good but on the final lap I managed to gain two further places to finish ninth and end a solid weekend.”
He added: “Hopefully in Spain I can get some solid points on a track I know."
Jolyon now returns to his home in Southwater before flying out to Spain (Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona) for rounds three and four of the GP2 series on 20-22 May.