In the footsteps of his father
Jonathan Palmer made his F1 debut in a third Williams at the 1983 European GP held, appropriately, at Brands Hatch. Palmer would later rescue the ailing Kent circuit, slotting it into a portfolio that includes Oulton Park, Snetterton and Cadwell Park.
Palmer was the Formula 2 champion in 1983. Many years later he would renew his association with that category, since his Motorsport Vision company managed the revived championship in 2009-12.
His Formula 1 career was characterised by drives in smallbudget teams, such as RAM, Zakspeed and Tyrrell. In 1987 he won the Jim Clark Cup, the F1 championship awarded to drivers racing normally aspirated machinery.
At the end of his Formula 1 career, he worked first as a pitlane reporter, and then joined Murray Walker in the commentary box at the BBC until he was replaced by Martin Brundle as UK coverage switched to ITV in 1997.
Two years later, Palmer founded a corporate driving facility at Bedford Aerodrome, the success of which opened the door to the running of various motor-racing championships, and he subsequently acquired some of Britain’s best national racing circuits. He currently owns the commercial rights to British Superbikes as well as the new BRDC F4 championship.