Palmer cruises to two podium finishes in CanadaMay 25, 2016
Andrew Palmer put in his best performance of the year in the Pirelli World Challenge with two second place finishes at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
The 21-year old was racing at the track for the first time and - along with team-mate Adderly Fong - looked strong early in the weekend and managed to qualify in second for the Bentley Team Absolute squad.
The high-speed nature of the circuit favoured the Bentley Continental GT3s and the first race saw Palmer unchallenged as he and race leader Patrick Long pulled away from the others.
Although he wasn’t quite able to put himself in a position to overtake Long over the 39 laps, it was obvious the pace was there, and he crossed the line with a comfortable gap to third.
Palmer once again started race two in second place but a rain shower meant the cars were forced to start behind the safety car. Fong, who finished race one in fourth, was involved in an incident at the start of the race and was forced to retire.
With the safety car out, Palmer was down to third behind Long and JD Davison. He managed to ease away from the chasing pack but was forced to sit behind the two front-runners until the chequered flag.
However, after the race Davidson received a time penalty and Palmer was promoted to second place.
The result is the team’s best ever finish in the Pirelli World Challenge, and the Bentley driver is now a serious title contender.
“I think I knew from the end of the first practice that it was our weekend to throw away,” Palmer said. “We’re happy to be back up on the podium where the brand belongs, where I belong and where the team belongs.
“Once I settled into a pace, race one was about traffic management. It wasn’t too eventful, but my focus was there and it was by no means easy.
“Race two was very sketchy. It sprinkled just before the start and I was stunned by how wet the track was when I was doing the formation lap. The back section, from Turn 4 to Turn 8 required full-wet tyres. I just kept my foot in it and had faith in the car and got another podium.”
There will be little time for Palmer to enjoy this result though as he prepares for next weekend’s race at Lime Rock Park, Connecticut.