Palmer produces memorable Silverstone homecoming in Renault Europcup title race

Will Palmer celebrates his victory at Silverstone
Will Palmer celebrates his victory at Silverstone

Will Palmer produced a memorable homecoming as he extended his Formula Renault Eurocup title lead with a dominant win and a fighting second place at Silverstone.

The BRDC SuperStar led every lap of the opening race of the event on Saturday, and even a safety car interruption failed to halt his charge to the chequered flag.

The 20-year-old followed this up with second place in the fourth round of the season on Sunday to stretch his title lead.

Palmer’s weekend got off to a good start with second position in the Friday test session, less than a tenth away from R-ace GP team-mate Max Defourny.

The pair were separated in the qualifying sessions, and the Southwater driver headed the opening session by 0.014 seconds from Robert Shwartzman’s R-ace GP machine. The second session yielded faster times, however, with Defourny topping the order and taking pole position.

Palmer made a fine start to lead race one, but the opening lap was disrupted by the safety car after a startline crash. When the race resumed, Palmer pulled free of the chasing pack and set a blistering pace, making the fastest lap of the race on the final lap to win by more than six seconds from Henrique Chaves and Shwartzman.

After qualifying fourth on the grid for Sunday’s race, Palmer moved up to second, however, the safety car came out to head the field for ten minutes whilst the stranded car of Chaves was recovered to the pitlane.

Palmer did a fine job of anticipating the restart, but Shwartzman defended the lead and he finished less than a second ahead.

Palmer said: “It’s been a really good weekend at Silverstone with a first and a second place. The race on Saturday was quite straightforward after getting away in the lead at the start, but the race on Sunday was a bit harder starting from fourth.

“I managed to put in a really strong opening lap passing two cars though which elevated me to second, and though I tried for the lead on the last lap, it wasn’t quite possible. Still, we scored loads of points this weekend and it was great to have a win on home soil.

“Next up is Pau which is a track neither I nor the team has raced at before. We will have to hit the ground running on Friday practice and build up quickly to make sure we are able to qualify well, as that will be crucial there.”