Young leads three way battle for victory In a spectacular race boasting some of the closest racing in the history of the series, Stephen Young bounced back from the disappointment of retiring from Round 1 of the Visma Software Formula Palmer...
Young leads three way battle for victory
In a spectacular race boasting some of the closest racing in the history of the series, Stephen Young bounced back from the disappointment of retiring from Round 1 of the Visma Software Formula Palmer Audi Championship at Silverstone to claim victory in a fantastic three-way battle in Round 2. Young had to fend off the youthful challenges of Ryan Lewis and Round 1 race winner Adam Smith, who finished second and third respectively, to celebrate his first ever victory at Silverstone.
Young, piloting the No.3 Vodka Kick backed car, made a searing start when the lights went green to pass pole-sitter Adam Smith for the lead into Copse. Howard Spooner, not to be out-done by his Vodka Kick team-mate, launched himself at the start from fifth on the grid into third behind Adam Smith. Ryan Lewis held on to fourth with Chris Hyman and Jonathan Kennard completing the top six at the end of the first lap. Ryan Hooker, eighth on the grid at the start, stalled on the line only to get going again but the reigning Porsche 924 Champion found himself at the back of the field with a real challenge on his hands to return to the top ten.
Lap four saw Ryan Lewis promote himself to second ahead of Howard Spooner and Adam Smith, with Stephen Young continuing to lead the field. Round 1 winner Smith disposed of Spooner to join Lewis in the fight for the lead, the Northampton driver aiming for a clean sweep of pole positions and wins. Meanwhile Chris Hyman was about to give Howard Spooner more trouble, with the Durban businessman passing the Vodka Kick car for fourth place. Not to be outdone by this, former T-Car driver Jonathan Kennard defied his lack of single-seater experience to pass Spooner as well.
Paul Warren was another driver on the move and by mid-distance the Autumn Trophy runner-up was through to sixth in the race from his starting position of ninth. Ben Lewis was capitalising on a solid start and found himself in seventh place behind Warren and enjoying a trouble free race unlike Round 1 earlier. Terry White, who clearly enjoyed his run to tenth in the first race, decided to push for more and was running in ninth ahead of American rookie Emmanuel Crouvisier with 11 laps remaining.
Entering the second half of the race the gap between Ryan Lewis in second and Adam Smith in third was a mere tenth of a second as Smith continued to heap pressure on his 19-year-old adversary. As they duelled for position over the remaining laps, their respect for each other was evident to those watching and all enjoyed a mature performance from the young pair. Stephen White continued to lead the race keeping his pursuers at bay by the skin of his teeth.
Ryan Hooker was showcasing his racing credentials further back as the single-seater debutant flew through the field from last at the start up to 10th by two-thirds distance, a remarkable drive from the Upminster driver.
Lap 15 saw another flying rookie out to make a name for himself in Formula Palmer Audi as Jonathan Kennard in the No.6 Iplex TV backed car set the fastest lap of the race so far with a time of 56.457 seconds. Kennard's glory was short lived as Adam Smith continued to demonstrate his impressive turn of speed as he posted a new fastest lap of 56.309, which held until the end of the race.
The race to the chequered flag was fiercely contested in the final remaining laps with the time difference on lap 18 between Young in first and Lewis in second just six tenths of a second. Neither driver could afford any let up in speed, as Smith was a car length behind waiting to capitalise on any mistakes ahead of him on the track.
A delighted Stephen Young punched the air as he passed the chequered flag to win the second race of the year. Ryan Lewis and Adam Smith celebrated their second podium finishes of the day, Lewis pleased to be a step ahead of Smith this time round.
Jonathan Kennard's fourth at the flag is one better than his previous race finish, while Chris Hyman, who he pipped to fourth, has to settle for a brace of top five finishes from the opening two rounds at Silverstone. Howard Spooner, who started so promisingly finished today's second race in eighth while Ryan Hooker was delighted to finish ninth following his disastrous start. Tenth place finisher Terry White was equally pleased with his second successive top ten finish, the former karter revelling in the power generated by the 275bhp turbo-charged Audi engines.
Round 1 winner Adam Smith leaves Silverstone today with 42 points and a slender two-point lead over Ryan Lewis in the championship. A superb debut from Jonathan Kennard places him third equal on 31 points with FPA veteran Chris Hyman. Stephen Young's triumph in Round 2 boosts the Vodka Kick driver to eighth overall on 24 points.
With close, competitive racing throughout the 22 car Formula Palmer Audi field, the new season looks set to be one of the best yet with a mixture of youth and experience battling for glory over the 12-round European Championship. Snetterton hosts Rounds 3 and 4 of the Visma Software Formula Palmer Audi Championship on Sunday 8 June.