Will Palmer stormed to a hat-trick of victories in the opening weekend of the British Racing Driver’s Club Formula 4 Winter Championship at Snetterton.
The Southwater driver was again racing with HDC Motorsport as the eight-race series got underway at the Norfolk-based track over the weekend.
The 17-year-old made a formidable start to this year’s event as he won three of the four races over Saturday and Sunday.
It has put the young racer – brother of recently-crowned GP2 champion Jolyon – in pole position for the winter series title at the midway stage.
He holds a 12-point lead ahead of the second and final weekend at Brands Hatch Indy, where he took his first single-seater race win in last year’s championship, on November 22 & 23.
Palmer said: “It’s been a great start to the Winter Championship for us. I knew I had the pace. I knew that if I could get off the line in the lead I would be able to pull away and take the win.
“The car was great, after the start it was just like qualifying - putting the laps in and pulling away. It’s very cold so it’s taking a lot of time to get the tyres up to temperature so they were just getting better and better as the race went on.”
Palmer claimed the first win on Saturday, despite finishing second on the road to Gaetano di Mauro.
Di Mauro led the majority of the race, but he made a false start from pole position and was given a 10 second penalty which cost him victory.
Palmer then claimed his second win of the day with a dominant victory in the second race after starting on pole, again ahead of di Mauro.
On Sunday, in the first race, Palmer made a good start from second place to pass pole-sitter di Mauro on the run to Riches, and then extended his lead to take a comfortable win.
But Palmer was unable to complete a clean sweep in the afternoon as PetroBall’s di Mauro claimed his first victory with a commanding drive.
Weekend dominator Palmer was second, with Jordan Albert claiming his second podium of the weekend in third.
Palmer added: “It was a tricky race with the conditions but Gaetano did a really good job to be fair to him, and I was quite happy to stay in second place.
“It’s been a really good weekend - to take three wins and a second is way more than I could have hoped for coming into it.
“We move onto Brands Hatch Indy now and last year in the Winter Championship I took a pole and a win so, hopefully, I can repeat that in two weeks’ time.”