Norfolk’s Alex Brundle narrowly misses out on podium finish in European Le Mans Series
06:30 29 May 2014
Alex Brundle’s impressive season continued with the King’s Lynn racer narrowly missing out on a podium finish in the GTC category in the recent 4 Hours of Imola, round two of the European Le Mans Series.
As the Pro-rated racer, Brundle is allowed to drive only the final 50-minute stint after team-mates Ricardo Gonzalez and Karim Ajlani complete their shifts.
The ART Grand Prix-tended McLaren 12C GT3 started from eighth, with Gonzalez handing over the supercar to Ajlani after his session in sixth place.
Gonzalez and Ajlani each had a second spell behind the wheel before the local racer took over the driving duties, for the final session, in sixth place.
A succession of quick laps, the fastest set by a McLaren during the event, saw Brundle surge up to fourth place at the chequered flag, but the leading trio of Ferraris proved out of reach.
“I got in knowing that fourth was the best we could realistically achieve, and I probably got everything I could out of the car,” said Brundle.
“I was trading fastest laps with my team-mate Kevin (Korjus, in the team’s sister McLaren) which was essential if I was to catch one of the cars on track and jump another that made its final stop after us.
“So it was very rewarding to see our potential realised.
“It’s been a fantastic team performance this weekend and I’m particularly pleased with how well Ricardo and Karim drove,” added Brundle.
Jolyon Palmer, son of Snetterton Circuit owner Jonathan, increased his lead in the GP2 series with this second victory of the season on the streets of Monte Carlo.
Palmer began the race from pole position, but his start was not one of his best, which allowed Mitch Evans, driving for the iSport International-managed Russian Time team, to take over the lead.
The Carlton Rode team personnel watched as Evans quickly put distance between himself and Palmer, who was fending off his DAMS team-mate Stephene Richelmi.
However, it was to no avail as a safety car closed the field up and upon the race resuming Palmer found a way past Evans on the tight streets to secure a fabulous victory after two more safety car episodes and a race stoppage when the track became blocked.
“It was a crazy race, which happens quite often around here in Monaco,” said Palmer afterwards.
“I lost a position to Mitch (Evans) at the start, but I had good pace and managed to pass him back.”
“After the red flag it was a case of putting in qualifying style laps, pulling out a big gap and then the safety car came out again – so someone wasn’t making it easy for me today, but I am absolutely delighted.”
The top eight are reversed to make up the grid for race two and from eighth Palmer was only able to improve by one position at the finish to follow Evans home, which ended his run of five podium places.