Palmer climbs Pirelli World Challenge standings after consistent weekend in AlabamaApril 25, 2016
Andrew Palmer took a pair of top-10 finishes to round off a consistent, if frustrating, weekend in the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) at Barber Motorsports Park, Alabama, last weekend (April 23/24).
The 21-year-old American, who is the youngest winner in the history of the PWC, knew that with overtaking almost impossible on the 3.8-kilometre road course, qualifying would play a key role in shaping his weekend.
Unfortunately for the Bentley Team Absolute driver, he was not in a position to maximise his potential pace during the short period when track conditions peaked. With grip levels changing on a minute-by-minute basis, he qualified seventh on a slippery circuit.
Palmer lost a place on the opening lap of race one and, despite pressuring the driver ahead for most of the encounter, was forced to settle for eighth in his Bentley Continental GT3.
He was involved in an almighty four-car battle for eighth during Sunday’s second race. Visibly faster than his rivals through the circuit’s high-speed sections, the short straights and narrow track that characterise the venue severely limited his passing opportunities.
A solid 10th spot moved Palmer up a position to eighth in the championship standings and maintained his status as the highest-placed Bentley driver in the PWC.
Palmer is aiming to continue his strong run of points-scoring finishes when the PWC moves on to the historic Mosport venue in Canada for a double-header meeting on May 19-22.
“It’s so hard to pass at Barber. The Bentley was very quick through the high-speed stuff, but you can’t pass in those spots,” Palmer explained. “As soon as you get anywhere near the car you’re trying to pass, you’ve arrived at a slow corner and are struggling to get the power down while the car ahead of you pulls away.
“In both races, I know if I’d passed the car in front of me, I could have easily pulled away. The team gave me a good car. It was frustrating, because I know we had the pace to at least be in the top five, but the results don’t show that.
“Hopefully at Mosport, where there are not many slow corners, we’ll be running at the front.”