Formula Renault Eurocup leader, Will Palmer (R-ace GP) extended his points advantage in the general classification with his win in race one at Silverstone. Starting second, the Englishman made the most of the troubles of pole winner Max Defourny (R-ace GP) to claim his second success of the season ahead of Henrique Chaves (AVF by Adrián Vallés) and Robert Shwartzman (R-ace GP). Renault Sport Academy driver Max Fewtrell (Tech 1 Racing) won among the rookies and was fourth overall.
Defourny despite the rain
Despite a few drops of rain, the second qualifying group was the faster. Max Defourny led the way in Group B with a time of 1:58.267 versus team mate Will Palmer who was best in Group A with a lap of 1:58.628.
Max Defourny won his first pole of the year and fourth in the Formula Renault Eurocup. The Belgian lined-up ahead of Will Palmer, Henrique Chaves, Robert Shwartzman and rookie Max Fewtrell.
Palmer the opportunist
Max Defourny suffered a clutch problem at the start before retiring. The safety car then came out following contact between Red Bull Junior Team driver Neil Verhagen (MP Motorsport) and Renault Sport Academy member Jarno Opmeer (MP Motorsport).
Race leader Will Palmer controlled the field at the re-start at the end of lap three ahead of Henrique Chaves, Robert Shwartzman, Max Fewtrell and Axel Matus (AVF by Adrián Vallés). The Mexican driver was overtaken by Alex Peroni (Fortec Motorsports) and others in the next two laps.
Will Palmer quickly pulled away to go on for the win with more than a six second gap ahead of Henrique Chaves and Robert Shwartzman. On his way to his maiden podium result the Portuguese driver had to fend off the attacks from the SMP Racing protégé, who in turn was followed closely by Max Fewtrell and Sacha Fenestraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing). The Frenchman got the better of Alex Peroni on lap five. Seventh place went to Red Bull Junior Team driver Richard Verschoor (MP Motorsport) who was followed by Gabriel Aubry (Tech 1 Racing), Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing) and his fellow in the Austrian programme, Daniel Ticktum (Arden Motorsport).
Will Palmer (R-ace GP) : “It was a good race and to win on my home track is always very special ! I got a good start and handled the re-start to take the win with a comfortable margin. I don’t know happened to Max as I passed him when the lights went out. The re-start was probably the most stressful moment of the day. Tomorrow, qualifying will possibly happen in wet conditions. We were strong in these conditions yesterday, so it’s up to us to see how far we can continue the team’s invincibility !”
It was a good race and to win on my home track is always very special !
Henrique Chaves (AVF by Adrián Vallés) : “This morning, I set a better time than Max, but it was deleted for track limits. In the race, I struggled a bit with my gearbox. Will was too fast in the lead, so I did everything I could to keep Robert behind me. This first podium is a nice birthday gift for my dad. It is reward for the hard work I’ve done to keep my weight down, my preparation and the long hours in the simulator. I hope it is the first of many !”
Robert Shwartzman (R-ace GP) : “Qualifying was very tight between Will and myself. Tomorrow will give me another chance and it is up to me to seize it ! The race was also hard fought with Henrique. I pushed hard, but he did a good job defending and I had to glance into my mirrors to keep an eye on Max. I also had to manage the oversteering in my car in some corners, but this is nevertheless a good result.”
Max Fewtrell (Tech 1 Racing) : “After a bit of a disappointing season opening meeting at Monza despite my first win among the rookies, everything is coming together and I’m clearly improving with another success among the newcomers. I know this track a bit better and I am more comfortable. I have never been this close to the podium in the Eurocup, so I will give it my all tomorrow to step on to it and go home with one of the best trophies !”
|1. Will Palmer (R-ace GP)||62|
|2. Sacha Fenestraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing)||46|
|3. Robert Shwartzman (R-ace GP)||40|
|4. Max Defourny (R-ace GP)||25|
|5. Henrique Chaves (AVF by Adrián Vallés)||24|
* Results subject to confirmation following technical and sporting verifications