Ellis In The Hunt For The FIA GT3 European Championship Crown In Dubai
Croydon's Bradley Ellis has his sights set on trying to clinch back-to-back GT Championships with the final FIA GT3 European rounds approaching in Dubai on 5&6 December. The 2007 Avon Tyres British GT Champion faces the last two races third in the title standings while any one of the top seven drivers occupying the top three ranks have a chance of taking the crown.
The 21 year-old lies just nine points adrift of Arnaud Peyroles and James Ruffier who lead with 44 points, with Ian Khan and Thomas Mutsch second on 36, and Ellis currently sharing third with Thomas Accary and Pierre-Brice Mena. However, Ellis would be forgiven for having a sense of deja vu as he finds himself in a similar position to last year when he battled back from eight points down to clinch the British GT spoils. It goes without saying that the Croydon ace will be looking to repeat history in Dubai this weekend.
Despite a challenging season, which saw the sportscar star recover from a massive accident in June during a guest appearance in the British GT Championship at Thruxton (UK) in which he suffered a compression fracture to the sixth vertebra, Ellis has chipped away at the FIA GT3 European Championship fight, notching up two wins, a fourth position and third place podium finish last time out at Nogaro. But Ellis and team mate Alex Mortimer have also had their fair share of poor luck this season, with two forced non finishes due to contact, while the Matech Ford GT has struggled with increasing performance restrictions.
Regardless, Ellis is looking forward to the season finale and is already in Dubai preparing for the challenge ahead. "I can't wait for the final rounds this weekend. If the last two races are anything to go by, it's going to be fiercely competitive," said Ellis. "Dubai is a great track and with two long straights the pace is going to be really quick. Although I raced here in the Viper last year, my first time out in the Matech Ford GT will be during practice on Wednesday so I'll need to get acclimatised. The Ford GT should handle brilliantly around the Dubai Autodrome track, but we will have to see if the restrictions that we are still carrying hold us back on the straights. Hopefully we won't loose out too much, although straight-line speed will be a key factor here.
"Of course I'm focussing on winning the championship, but to finish in the top three in my first full season racing in the FIA GT3 European Championship would still be a magnificent achievement. I'll be taking each track session at a time and just keeping cool, calm and consistent. It should be a great weekend."
Qualifying and round 11 of the FIA GT3 European Championship takes place on Friday with the final race of the season taking place on Saturday afternoon.