DOUBLE VALLELUNGA PODIUM KEEPS BRATT'S TITLE HOPES ON TRACK Will Bratt added two more podiums to his season total at Vallelunga in Italy on Sunday, 20th September, to keep his 2009 PartyPokerRacing.it Euroseries 3000 Championship title ambitions...
DOUBLE VALLELUNGA PODIUM KEEPS BRATT'S TITLE HOPES ON TRACK
Will Bratt added two more podiums to his season total at Vallelunga in Italy on Sunday, 20th September, to keep his 2009 PartyPokerRacing.it Euroseries 3000 Championship title ambitions firmly on track.
With one more event left to run, and only six points separating the British racer from the top of the driver standings, Will is very well placed to challenge for his first international motor racing crown when the season finale takes place at Monza four weeks from now.
The 21-year-old EmiliodeVillota.com Motorsport driver, who lives in Banbury, took second place in yesterday morning's 10th round of the campaign and then carved his way through from seventh on the grid in round 11 to take a fine third place -- his sixth and seventh podium visits of the year.
"Obviously I'm really pleased to get two more podiums this weekend", he commented, "The main aim has been to score as heavily as possible and we took away more points than any of the others so, with that in mind, it's been a success."
Lining up on pole position for round 10 after dominating qualifying on Saturday, Will made a clean start but a rapid getaway from fellow title aspirant Marco Bonanomi enabled the Italian to get right on terms. At the Cimini corner, Bonanomi produced an unexpected overtaking move to edge ahead and drop Will back to second place.
Remaining tight to Bonanomi's tail, and posting the fastest lap of 1m25.551 seconds (171.897km/h), the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) Rising Star pressed on and eventually finished the race just 0.5 seconds adrift.
"It's annoying to have missed out on the win in the first race but fair play to Marco (Bonanomi), he made a great start and that was the difference", said Will, "Second was still a great result and with the bonus points for pole position and the fastest lap, it meant we scored the same."
On the opening lap of the 11th round, which Will started from seventh on the grid by virtue of the 'reverse' top eight format employed by the championship, he lost ground initially when forced to take avoiding action to miss the slowing car of Francesco Dracone. Fighting back well, the race then threatened to change when, on lap seven, rain showers arrived.
Fabrizio Crestani, one of Will's main championship rivals, decided to pit for treaded tyres but the conditions didn't worsen to the point where wet-weather rubber would prove beneficial so the drivers remaining on slicks had no problem running at a competitive pace.
In the end, Will took a deserved third place and crossed the line on lap 23 just 3.7 seconds shy of race winner Fabio Onidi. Running consistently quickly, the Oxon driver just missed out on setting the fastest lap with a best time of 1m26.765 seconds -- just a 10th of a second shy.
Reflecting on round 11, he commented: "The set-up of the car wasn't ideal when the rain came as we had gone with very stiff settings. To come through and take another podium is a great result though and means we have an opportunity to fight for the title during the final rounds at Monza. I've never driven there before but it's a legendary track and an experience I'm really looking forward to."
Will's podium successes this weekend have enabled him to pull six points clear of Crestani in the championship and move him to within three points of second placed Bonanomi. Onidi currently leads the way on 61 points but with two rounds still to go, the 2009 Euroseries 3000 title -- and prize drive in the GP2 Asia Series -- is still a very realistic prospect for the highly rated British racer.
The world renowned home of the Italian Formula One Grand Prix, Monza, will host the decisive final two rounds of the PartyPokerRacing.it Euroseries 3000 Championship four weeks from now over the weekend 17th/18th October.