Jolyon Palmer claims GP2 podium for Isport, while Alex Brundle’s GP3 gamble falls short
Jolyon Palmer shined in the GP2 Series rounds at Silverstone as Norfolk's Isport International enjoyed their home weekend.
Palmer, who won in Monaco earlier this season, cashed in on his Friday qualifying run to maintain third for the Carleton Road team in the Saturday afternoon hour-long race.
But arguably his Sunday morning sprint effort was even better, sitting 11th at one stage before cutting his way up to fifth with a superb drive.
And while his team-mate Marcus Ericsson had a first race to forget, the Swede continued Isport's momentum after lowly early running to finish seventh as those in front thrilled and ultimately spilled.
The weekend was far from as kind to Isport's Norfolk rivals however.
A grid penalty was eased somewhat by Giedo van der Garde's rise to eight for Hingham's Caterham Racing – and Sunday should have been even better as the Dutchman started on pole and flew off at the start.
However, his tyres lasted barely a handful of laps and he plummeted down the field before retiring in the pits with two laps remaining.
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The luck of his team-mate, Attleborough's Rodolfo Gonzalez was even worse. He was hit from behind in the opening exchanges of Saturday before an excursion through the mud ended his sprint race at mid-distance.
Hethel-backed Lotus GP saw Esteban Guti�rrez earn a second successive feature race victory, and he drove brilliantly for fourth in the sprint.
But that race included a last-lap battle for the podium with Johnny Cecotto, where the Lotus man ran off before managing to rejoin the track at speed – only to smash into Cecotto, in a manner almost certain to end with some sort of post-race punishment from the stewards.
His Lotus team-mate James Calado had an early feature race exit and while he rose well from the back to the top 10 on Sunday, he lost control on a damp part of the circuit to end up in the gravel.
Van der Garde lost ground on the leaders in the championship race, whlie the weekend saw Isport overtake Caterham in the teams' standings – albeit down in sixth.
• In GP3, Norfolk's Alex Brundle had moments to remember and forget at his home race.
Saturday's opener saw the Carlin racer drop from seventh to ninth at the flag – but still pick up his best points haul to date.
And it could have been even better, with Sunday morning's weather on the cusp of wet and dry seeing the rookie gamble by starting the 14-lap second race on slick tyres from the front row.
His roll of the dice relied on him staying on the track – and an early slip ended those, but Brundle's recovery was quick and classy as he came home 10th.
The tyre choice certainly was not the issue – Brundle's team-mate Will Buller made it a British victory at Silverstone after taking his Carlin from last on the grid to an outstanding victory on slicks.