F4-s Championship rounds seven and eight were held in Kiev, Ukraine over the weekend of 29th to 30th July 2011. Matt Palfreyman and Team Atlantic were back in action.
by Emma Slater
Heading into the weekend Palfreyman sat third in the championship behind fierce rivals Bimba Sjoholm of Sweden and championship leader Saleh Al Shamlan of Qatar who held a 23 point on the British youngster.
Following on from his top form in Russia Palfreyman continued to impress throughout the weekend. In the first free practice session he clocked a speed of 58.24mph taking the fastest lap time of 1:01.81 which would remain the best lap in the competition for the whole weekend.
Palfreyman qualified in pole in front of China’s Xiong Ziwei with the Swedish and Qatar Teams following in third and fourth respectively.
Making the most of his pole position Matt managed to hold on to the race lead. On the second lap Team Qatar and Team Abu Dhabi drivers collided when Qatar’s Al Shamlan spun out in front of Al Tayler leaving him no room to manoeuvre and forcing both to retire with boat damage.
On clearing the incident Matt continued to lead the race right to the finish line, ahead of China’s Ziwei and Sweden’s Sjoholm.
Saturday’s qualifying saw the Team Atlantic driver caught in dirty water and unable to catch the Bimba Sjoholm’s qualifying time. In just six laps he was 0.0:21 of a second behind the Swede in second on the grid.
From second on the grid Matt got a fantastic start to almost make it look easy as he swept to a convincing win, lapping the two tail-enders, Tobias Munthe-Kaas and Valts Silis.
With his second win of the weekend Matt clinched the winners title at the Kiev Grand Prix and with the absence of the two Arab boats, Abu Dhabi and Qatar following their earlier collision, Palfreyman was now leading the overall 2011 F4-s Championship.
On his win Palfreyman commented 'I’m still on a high from winning in Russia and to now have won both races here in the Ukraine is just fantastic especially as Mum and Dad were here watching.'
He continued: 'Again I couldn’t have done it without the rest of Team Atlantic, I’ve kind of got the easy job I just have to drive, it’s a real team effort and to take the lead in the championship albeit a narrow one is great it feels like our hard work is really beginning to pay off hopefully now we can keep the momentum and up and extend the lead in China.'
The next round of the Championship sees the teams head to Grand Prix of China: Liuzhou, on the 1 - 2 October. Meanwhile Matt will compete for the 2011 F4 British National Sprint Championship this coming weekend (6 – 7 August) at Stewartby in Bedford.
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2:38 PM Tue 2 Aug 2011 GMT
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