MAIDEN EUROSERIES 3000 PODIUM FOR BRATT AT PORTIMAO Banbury's Will Bratt underlined his outstanding potential in the PartyPokerRacing.it Euroseries 3000 Championship at Portimao in Portugal on Sunday, 17th May, by taking a terrific second...
MAIDEN EUROSERIES 3000 PODIUM FOR BRATT AT PORTIMAO
Banbury's Will Bratt underlined his outstanding potential in the PartyPokerRacing.it Euroseries 3000 Championship at Portimao in Portugal on Sunday, 17th May, by taking a terrific second place finish against strong opposition during round two of the 2009 season.
Driving beautifully throughout the weekend, the EmiliodeVillota.com Motorsport racer battled wheel-to-wheel with a whole host of experienced GP2 Series campaigners and drivers from other high-profile international categories.
Ending the event just four points behind series leader Pastor Maldonado, Will overcame a complete lack of testing prior to the weekend -- caused by serious mechanical problems with his car -- to emerge as a genuine challenger against a high quality field of drivers.
"I'm really happy to have finished on the podium this weekend, it's a good start to the season and a great reward for the team who worked unbelievably hard since we arrived in Portugal to sort out the problems we had with the car -- I can't thank them enough for their efforts", said Will.
Heading onto qualifying on Saturday morning with less than an hour's track time under his belt at the wheel of his 550bhp, Zytek-powered Lola due to the aforementioned issues, Will belied his lack of experience of both the track and the car by posting a best lap of 1m32.504 seconds (180.888 km/h) to secure a spot on the third row.
Climbing through the order well during the early stages of round one on Saturday afternoon, the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) Rising Star came within just three laps of actually taking a podium on his championship race debut but a spin while fighting to keep his car in third place saw him slip down the order. He was eventually classified in eighth position, receiving one championship point.
Will began round two from pole position and led from the off but his early laps were compromised due to the car having brand new brake pads which had to be fitted ahead of the race. Unable to keep Fabio Onidi behind for that reason, Will had to concede the lead but he raced well to resist further pressure from behind and maintained second place.
As soon as the brakes were working to their best, Will got into his stride and matched the race leader throughout but there wasn't an opportunity to retake first position at any point. Will took the chequered flag just eight 10ths of a second shy of Onidi -- posting his fastest lap of the race of 1m34.363 seconds on the penultimate tour.
Reflecting on the weekend, Will said: "In the first race I bogged down a bit off the line but managed to pick up the lost places around the outside through the first couple of turns. When I got into third everything was going well, our pace was good and a podium looked set but the back end started swinging around a bit too much and about three laps from the finish it snapped away.
"It's unfortunate but we just need more set-up time with the car. We lost both of the test days due to mechanical problems and then on Friday we only had two half hour sessions of practice. To be as quick as we were and to have run in the top three for the majority of race one was a good start. To then finish in second place during race two shows how competitive we can be this year."
Returning to the UK to resume his university studies, Will has six full weeks to wait until the third and fourth rounds of the 2009 PartyPokerRacing.it Euroseries 3000 Championship take place at Magny-Cours in France over the weekend 27th/28th June.