Josef Newgarden stars on FPA debut American takes double victory, Kazim Vasiliauskas wins the third in Brands Hatch triple header Josef Newgarden took a double win on the opening weekend of the 2009 Formula Palmer Audi Championship at Brands...
Josef Newgarden stars on FPA debut
American takes double victory, Kazim Vasiliauskas wins the third in Brands Hatch triple header
Josef Newgarden took a double win on the opening weekend of the 2009 Formula Palmer Audi Championship at Brands Hatch.
The 18-year-old American mastered the legendary Grand Prix circuit in race one, taking victory after passing pole sitter Adam Foster on the first lap. Plant was in third and the trio were separated by just 1.5 seconds for the majority of the race, but Newgarden held his nerve after a late safety car period to score an impressive victory. "It is a great feeling to win," said Newgarden. "I got a great start and was able to take an early lead, but Foster pushed me all the way. It was my first time racing with a boost button and I have to say that it was an awesome experience!"
Newgarden repeated the trick from fourth on the grid in race two, after benefiting from early drama off the line. Richard Plant had already stormed off into the lead, whilst Adam Foster was left in a sandwich between Newgarden and Kazim Vasiliauskas - contact was inevitable and it was Vasiliauskas who tangled with Foster. Both continued without damage but Newgarden had already got by in to second position, which was soon to become first when news filtered through that Plant had jumped the start.
Plant received a ten second penalty to be added at the end of the race, but this didn't stop Newgarden trying to take the position on the track, making his the move on lap seven by slipping down the inside of Plant at Paddock Hill Bend. Newgarden took the win ahead of Kazim Vasiliauskas and Paul Rees.
Lithuanian Kazim Vasiliauskas rounded off his impressive weekend by storming to a lights to flag victory in race three.
Vasiliauskas, Newgarden and Plant maintained position off the line before Newgarden ran wide at Surtees, allowing Plant to slip by into second. From that point both Vasiliaskas and Plant were entangled in a race-long battle for the win. Plant pushed the Lithuanian driver at every opportunity, even down to the final tour where he set the fastest lap of the race, but Vasiliauskas held on to take the win. "This is a great win for me," said Vasiliauskas. "It is a new car and circuit for me so the weekend has been very good. I feel that I can only get better, which is good news for the championship." Richard Plant and Adam Foster were second and third respectively.
Josef Newgarden left Brands Hatch with a four point lead in the standings over Kazim Vasiliauskas, whilst Richard Plant currently lies third. Rounds 4,5 & 6 of the Formula Palmer Audi Championship will take place at Silverstone on 6/7 June.