When the FIA wanted to re-innaugurate the Formula Two championship, they turned to one man: Jonathan Palmer. A former F1 driver, Palmer raced in 87 grands prix for such teams as Williams and Tyrell, went on to commentate for the BBC, and owns and operates a handful of racing circuits around the UK. But his real qualification for the FIA contract was the Formula Palmer Audi series.
Palmer started the series in response to demand for a financially accessible but professionally-run feeder series for aspiring F1 drivers. Racing car constructor Van Diemen (now owned by Panoz) provided the spec chassis, and Audi its 20-valve 1.8-liter turbo four. The series ran for thirteen years, over the course of which such drivers as touring car champion Andy Priaulx and former F1/current IndyCar driver Justin Wilson found their footing, but it’s now come to an end.
Palmer will continue to organize the F2 and British Superbikes series through his MotorSport Vision company, along with managing Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Snetterton, Cadwell Park and the Bedford Autodrome. But aspiring racing drivers will have to look elsewhere to get their start in the big leagues. Details in the press release after the jump.