Estoril Eurocup: Palmer inherits win after Norris and Defourny collide

Will Palmer took his maiden Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 win in a dramatic race at Estoril after leading duo Lando Norris and Max Defourny collided on the final lap.

Estoril Eurocup: Palmer inherits win after Norris and Defourny collide
Hugo De Sadeleer, Tech 1 Racing
Bruno Baptista, Fortec Motorsports
Max Defourny, R-ace GP
Robert Shwartzman, Josef Kaufmann Racing
Max Defourny, R-ace GP
Jehan Daruvala, Josef Kaufmann Racing
Sacha Fenestraz, Tech 1 Racing
Dorian Boccolacci, Tech 1 Racing
Robert Shwartzman, Josef Kaufmann Racing

The 2016 Eurocup champion got off to a good start from pole while front-row starter Palmer slotted in second ahead of karting graduate Marcus Armstrong.

JD Motorsport’s James Allen slid off the track on his own during the opening lap, the Australian going airborne for a brief moment and bringing out the first safety car.

Following the restart, the top three held their position but Tech 1’s Sacha Fenestraz spun from fourth to drop way down the order to 18th.

Meanwhile, R-ace GP’s Max Defourny clawed up to fourth from 11th before another safety car period began because of Alexander Vartanyan's stationary car.

Norris, once again, held his position from Palmer on re-start, while a slight off-track moment from Armstrong was enough for him to drop down the order.

Up ahead, Defourny cleared Palmer and closed in on Norris, the duo soon engaging in a feisty battle for the win.

The Belgian tried hard to go past the British driver and finally got a chance on the last lap when Norris made a mistake at the final corner.

The two were side-by-side heading into Turn 1 with Defourny having the inside line, but the pair of them collided while turning in.

While Norris limped back into the pits to end up 16th, Defourny retired immediately, handing the win to Formula 1 driver Jolyon Palmer’s brother Will.

Hugo de Sadeleer finished an impressive second from 13th, while wildcard entrant Alex Peroni completed the podium, after the original third place finisher Robert Shwartzman was given a 25-second time penalty for overtaking under a safety car phase.

Behind the top three, Dorian Boccolacci finished fourth ahead of AVF’s Harrison Scott with Fenestraz recovering from the earlier spin to end up sixth.

Fortec’s Bruno Baptista survived several wheel-to-wheel battles to finish seventh after teammate Ferdinand Habsburg spun out on the final lap, while the two were fighting for track position.

In the end, Armstrong finished eighth followed by Force India junior Jehan Daruvala, who fought back from 20th to ninth, and Nikita Troitskiy.

UPDATE: The stewards reversed the Shwartzman penalty, as a result the Russian takes back the podium from Peroni, with all the drivers behind losing one spot each.

Race 1 results:

PosDriver Team Laps  Time  Gap 
Will Palmer R-ace GP 15 28'03.515  
Hugo de Sadeleer Tech 1 Racing 15 28'09.699 6.184
Alex Peroni TS Corse 15 28'11.291 7.776
Dorian Boccolacci Tech 1 Racing 15 28'12.096 8.581
Harrison Scott AVF by Adrian Valles 15 28'12.998 9.483
Sacha Fenestraz Tech 1 Racing 15 28'13.431 9.916
Bruno Baptista Fortec Motorsports 15 28'18.632 15.117
Marcus Armstrong R-ace GP 15 28'19.267 15.752
Jehan Daruvala Josef Kaufmann Racing 15 28'19.513 15.998
10  Nikita Troitskiy Fortec Motorsports 15 28'20.131 16.616
11  Julien Falchero R-ace GP 15 28'26.512 22.997
12  Alexey Korneev JD Motorsport 15 28'34.497 30.982
13  Robert Shwartzman Josef Kaufmann Racing 15 28'35.397 31.882
14  Ghislain Cordeel GMMA Formula Racing 15 28'43.992 40.477
15  Frankie Bird Fortec Motorsports 15 28'53.028 49.513
16  Lando Norris Josef Kaufmann Racing 15 29'13.937 1'10.422
17  Henrique Chaves Jr. AVF by Adrian Valles 15 29'43.580 1'40.065
18  Max Defourny R-ace GP 14 26'18.478  
19  Ferdinand Habsburg Fortec Motorsports 14 26'36.363  
Alexandr Vartanyan Fortec Motorsports 3 6'26.269  
Gabriel Aubry Tech 1 Racing 2 4'37.604  
James Allen JD Motorsport 0

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