CLASS DRIVE FROM BRATT SECURES SECOND PODIUM OF YEAR Britain's Will Bratt secured a sensational podium finish during the third round of the 2009 PartyPokerRacing.it Euroseries 3000 Championship at Magny-Cours in France yesterday afternoon, ...
CLASS DRIVE FROM BRATT SECURES SECOND PODIUM OF YEAR
Britain's Will Bratt secured a sensational podium finish during the third round of the 2009 PartyPokerRacing.it Euroseries 3000 Championship at Magny-Cours in France yesterday afternoon, Saturday, 27th June, to move into joint-third position in the driver standings.
Lining up fourth on the grid after posting a best lap of 1m27.542 seconds (181.39 km/h) in the earlier qualifying period, just four 10ths of a second shy of pole position, the Banbury racer's Zytek-engined Lola almost stalled at the start of the 16-lap race which resulted in Will dropping down to ninth place as the field headed through the first few turns.
Immediately underlining his excellent racecraft, the 21-year-old gained three positions in quick succession in the middle sector of the first lap alone to climb back into the top six and then, on lap two, he passed countryman Ben Hanley for fifth.
On the fourth tour Will moved ahead of Venezuelan driver Rodolfo Gonzalez and after reeling in Italy's Fabio Onidi over the next three laps, the EmiliodeVillota.com Motorsport racer made his move past Onidi at mid-distance and quickly pulled away.
Halving the gap to championship leader Fabrizio Crestani before the finish, Will took the chequered flag on lap 16 just three seconds behind the Italian and less than four seconds adrift of race winner Marco Bonanomi. The result moves the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) Rising Star up from sixth in the championship to equal third with Onidi, both drivers tied on 12 points.
"I'm really pleased to have finished on the podium again, especially after the start we had!" said Will after the race, "The car almost stalled off the line and we slipped to ninth but I managed to get by three cars during the middle part of the first lap and then picked off (Ben) Hanley, Rodolfo (Gonzalez) and (Fabio) Onidi by mid-distance.
"As soon as I got into the top three I started to pull away and catch the two guys ahead but by that point they had already managed to pull out too much of a gap. Even so, I closed them down quite well and I think we demonstrated we have the pace and ability to do well in this championship. I can't wait for race two, hopefully we can make a better start and fight for another podium."
Will's weekend started under misty skies on Saturday morning and a damp track greeted the competitors at the beginning of the first 30-minute free practice. Seventh fastest as he settled in to the feel of the car and also bedded in brakes, he improved to fifth quickest in the second session before moving forward again in qualifying to secure fourth place on the grid for race one.
The fourth round of the 2009 PartyPokerRacing.it Euroseries 3000 Championship is timetabled to begin at 12.15 (local time) today, Sunday, 28th June, at Magny-Cours and will be contested over a distance of 21 laps. Although finishing in third place on Saturday, Will is due to start round four from sixth position due to the category's 'reverse-grid' format.