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Palmer dodges accidents to win sprint

Jolyon Palmer put a recent run of technical gremlins behind him to convincingly win the Monaco sprint race, taking the lead through turn 1 to avoid two big first lap accidents.
A messy start to the GP2 Monaco sprint race on Saturday afternoon provided iSport's Jolyon Palmer the opportunity to take the lead of the race and blast away from Max Chilton once the safety car came in, easily controlling the race from there to the chequered flag for his first GP2 Series win.

It had been Trident's St├ęphane Richelmi starting the 30-lap sprint race from pole position under the reserve grid rules after finishing in eighth place in the Friday morning feature race, and he had Lotus GP's James Calado alongside him. Both drivers had to be wary of giving either of the two second row men - Palmer alongside Carlin's Max Chilton - any chance of striking on the first run through Ste Devote.

Unfortunately for local boy Richelmi, the start went badly for him despite a good launch from the line: he fell back on the run down to the first corner and got squeezed off the racing line by Palmer, who was able to shoot into the lead. Richelmi was forced to move left and in doing so ended up making contact with the front nose of Calado's car on the outside, which sent the Trident car spinning around and into the barrier in the run-off at Ste Devote.

That sparked confusion for the pursuing cars through the chicane that caught out many of the other drivers, with Stefano Coletti - one of the few men to have opted for an interesting supersoft tyre strategy for the race where most others were on primes - ending up running into the rear of feature race winner Johnny Cecotto Jr's Barwa Addax, the crumpled Coloni joining Richelmi's car in the run-off area. Various cars were also forced to cut across the corner and take evasive action.

But just when it appeared that the race had escaped any further immediate repercussions, Cecotto - perhaps suffering from damage following the earlier impact with Coletti - spun on the run up the hill to Massenet right in front of the rest of the field.

Davide Valsecchi was first on the scene, having bogged down at the start with the anti-stall on his DAMS. He had been lucky to get off the grid at all but inevitably lost multiple positions, leaving him running well down in the midfield and vulnerable to getting cauht up in other people's accidents. Sure enough after spinning, Cecotto's powerless Barwa Addax car rolled back across the track right into Valsecchi's path and it ended up impacting the rear left of the DAMS, sending Valsecchi into a race-ending hit with the Armco.

Behind this incident, everyone reacted - and there was a mass of collisions, including the scary sight of Felipe Nasr being launched skywards over the back of Victor Guerin's Ocean Racing car. That left the track completely blocked for the better part of a minute, before the ever-efficient Monaco track workers cleared a way through and get those cars still under their own power under way again.

In all, ten cars were out as a result of the first lap incidents: Richelmi and Coletti from the initial incident at Ste. Devote; and then Cecotto, Valsecchi, Nasr, Guerin, Tom Dillmann, Ricardo Teixeria, Fabio Onidi and Giancarlo Serenelli at Massenet. Serenelli's Venezuela Lazarrus GP team mate Fabrizio Crestani also retired soon after following contact with the barriers. The safety car was inevitably brought out for the clean-up operation as cars were hoisted into the air by the cranes and off to the side of the track.

The race resumed after four laps behind the safety car. Palmer was in the lead for the restart, and Calado still in second despite his shattered front wing. Clearly struggling for grip, he was soon six seconds off the leader, but moreover the front wing was falling apart with every passing second and it was only a matter of time before he was shown the black and orange flag to summon him into pit lane for a mandatory replacement. Racing Engineering's Fabio Leimer was also into the pits at the same time, retiring from the race with damage after sliding slightly too wide at the Swimming Pool and hitting the Armco on lap 8.




Related Pictures

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Jolyon Palmer (GBR, iSport International). [World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.]
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, iSport International) in action an Monaco. May 2012. [Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, iSport International) celebrates his victory on the podium with Max Chilton (GBR, Carlin) and Giedo Van der Garde (NED, Caterham Racing). [Photo Credit: Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Media Service.]
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) crosses the line at the end of race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates in parc ferme after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates in parc ferme after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates with team mate Stephane Richelmi (MON, DAMS) celebrates after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates with his father Jonathan after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Race winner Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) & runner-up Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) celebrate with champagne after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) sprays champagne on the podium after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) & Stephane Richelmi (MON, DAMS) on the podium after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin), takes the chequered flag at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Daniel Abt (GER, Hilmer Motorsport), leads Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) & Artem Markelov (RUS, RT RUSSIAN TIME) at the start at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) & Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) battle for the lead at the start at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)

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SHAKEN - Unregistered

May 27, 2012 12:15 AM

I will take it thats Jonathan Palmer's son. Im not surprised as there are a whole load of ex-F1/ Bike racers with sons racing now. Theyre all over the place

MartinJSUK

May 26, 2012 6:46 PM

Looked like Palmer was at fault for the turn one accident. He left just over 1 car width for Richelmi, but didn't compute that Calado was there too, and that the track was just about to narrow to a point where James had no hope of either getting alongside Richelmi or backing out. Also, who else noticed that the medical car clipped the barrier as it tried to avoid the mayhem up the hill?



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