Will Palmer (R-ace GP) has won for the first time in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 this Saturday at Estoril. Second on the grid, the British driver inherited the lead on the final lap after contact between pole winner Lando Norris (Josef Kaufmann Racing) and Max Defourny (R-ace GP), who started 11th on the grid. Hugo de Sadeleer (Tech 1 Racing) and SMP Racing driver Robert Shwartzman (Josef Kaufmann Racing) complete the podium.
Sixth pole for Norris
During a session that began on a drying track, but ended under a light rain after a brief stoppage caused by Frank Bird (Fortec Motorsports), Lando Norris went out on slick tyres at the perfect time to take the pole with a lap of 1:46.736. The Briton lined up ahead of Will Palmer and Sacha Fenestraz (Tech 1 Racing) on the starting grid.
Palmer profits from the incident between Norris and Defourny
Despite slightly damp conditions, the drivers chose slick tyres. Lando Norris got a clean tart to hold on to the lead ahead of Will Palmer and fifth on the grid, Marcus Armstrong (R-ace GP). The safety car was called out to allow for the removal of the car of James Allen (JD Motorsport). The leading trio remained unchanged just until the neutralization provoked by Alexander Vartanyan (Fortec Motorsports).
At the restart Marcus Armstrong dropped down the order, while team mate Max Defourny continued to move up the order before attacking Lando Norris. The two made contact on the final lap of the race.
Will Palmer inherited the lead and took his first victory ahead of Hugo de Sadeleer and Robert Schwartzman. Wild-card entry Alex Peroni (TS Corse) finished fourth ahead of Dorian Boccolacci (Tech 1 Racing), Harrison Scott (AVF by Adrián Vallés) and Sacha Fenestraz. Bruno Baptista (Fortec Motorsports), wild-card Marcus Armstrong and Jehan Daruvala (Josef Kaufmann Racing) completed the top ten.
Will Palmer: “It feels so great to win a race. The season has been difficult at times, but we have been coming on strong with a podium at Circuit Paul Ricard and now the win! It was a little unexpected, I was lucky with the incident between Lando and Max on the last lap, but it doesn’t put a damper on my elation of this first victory. The goal is to do it again tomorrow. A podium would be a great way to finish the season.”
Hugo de Sadeleer: “In starting 13th on the grid, this podium is a bit unexpected. I think I made the right judgements on the first lap and the restarts because I picked up positions each time. But, unfortunately I broke my wing on the second restart when the field was bunched together, but I was able to finish the race despite the attacks of Robert Shwartzman. It is a great joy to take a third consecutive podium and I want to thank the team.”
Provisional General Classification*
1. Lando Norris (Josef Kaufmann Racing) 235
2. Dorian Boccolacci (Tech 1 Racing) 188
3. Harrison Scott (AVF by Adrián Vallés) 168
4. Max Defourny (R-ace GP) 163,5
5. Sacha Fenestraz (Tech 1 Racing) 94,5
* Results subject to confirmation following technical and sporting verifications