Marcus Ericsson provided the Norfolk highlight at GP2’s Valencia weekend with a podium finish in Saturday’s feature race.

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Carleton Rode-based Isport International saw a disappointing qualifying session put to bed in Formula One’s feeder series, as the Swede rose through the field to finish second behind the Hethel-backed Lotus GP of Esteban Gutiérrez.

Team-mate Jolyon Palmer – a victor last time out in Monaco – saw both Saturday’s feature race and Sunday’s sprint end early with collisions.

It was a fate that also befell Ericsson on Sunday, as a three abreast run down to turn two left him in the wall and out of the race on the opening lap.

But it did not prevent Isport closing on Norfolk rivals Caterham Racing in the team’s championship and moved Ericsson up to eighth in the drivers’ order after his third healthy points finish in four races.

“The feature race produced a great result for Marcus…and race two looked to start well but (Nathanaël) Berthon appeared to force him off the track and into the wall,” said team principal Paul Jackson.

“Jolyon was another retirement after contact with Cecotto, ending a promising weekend on a somewhat sour note.

“But the positive thing is both drivers had good pace in qualifying and the races, so we can look forward to Silverstone with some optimism.”

Giedo van der Garde had little luck as had to settle with a best of sixth in Sunday’s sprint for Hingham-based Caterham. Attleborough racer and team-mate Rodolfo Gonzalez failed to trouble the point-scorers.

Gutiérrez’s Lotus team-mate James Calado finished second on Sunday to send the France-based team top of the championship, with Calado third in the drivers’ standings – just one point separates leader Davide Valsecchi from Luiz Razi in second.

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