UNFLAPPABLE BRATT TAKES OUTSTANDING MAIDEN VICTORY Scorpio Motorsport's Will Bratt produced an absolutely faultless drive during round four of the Formula Renault UK Championship at Oulton Park Island Circuit this afternoon to take a truly ...
UNFLAPPABLE BRATT TAKES OUTSTANDING MAIDEN VICTORY
Scorpio Motorsport's Will Bratt produced an absolutely faultless drive during round four of the Formula Renault UK Championship at Oulton Park Island Circuit this afternoon to take a truly memorable first ever race victory in single-seaters.
Having qualified in second position on the grid, his first ever front row start since debuting in Formula Renault UK during the 2004 winter series, 18-year-old Will made a perfect getaway to leapfrog pole-sitter Sam Bird on the run to Old Hall Corner and from that point on he was never headed throughout the 15-lap encounter.
The Adderbury-based teenager, who is still in the midst of A-level exams at Bloxham School in Banbury, certainly came under pressure from rival Patrick Hogan, especially during the closing stages of the race, but Will was more than up to the challenge and soaked up every bit of attention with a mature and calculated performance.
Even the distraction of a Safety Car period on lap seven didn't interfere with Will's concentration and at the re-start a lap later, the Oxon sensation simply got on with the task in hand -- eventually taking his maiden win just under a second clear of Hogan to the delight of everyone at Scorpio and team sponsor Apotex Pharmaceuticals.
"I'm so happy to have won my first race but now my focus is on the next two rounds at Thruxton where I'm confident we can go well again", commented Will after stunning the Formula Renault UK paddock with a popular and well deserved victory.
"Paddy certainly put me under a lot of pressure each lap, he was much quicker than me through the first sector of the track, but I could pull away a little bit through the Knickerbrook Chicane and then quite a lot through Druids so I never really had to worry about defending into Lodge Corner at the end of each lap."
He added: "We learned a lot last year, everyone has to bear in mind everything was new to us last season and so it was always going to be a case of continuing to learn as much as we could about the car and the tracks.
"This year, everything is working well as we have a full season's knowledge behind us and I'm much more at home with the car. I'm delighted for all the guys at Scorpio who do a fantastic job, it's a terrific team and we've all deserved this win. Things are moving in the right direction and we're aiming to continue our progress at Thruxton."
Not only does the result see Will join an elite group of Formula Renault UK race winners, it also puts Loughborough-based Scorpio back on the top step of the podium for the first time since 2000 when the outfit achieved a race win courtesy of Charles Hall.
"I think Will drove a perfect race today, it's as simple as that really", said delighted team manager Jon Pettitt following the race, "His start was blinding, Will got away from the line brilliantly and it's clear to us the car was working superbly well through the fast corners so we're very happy.
"To have qualified on the front row was a superb achievement but to have converted it into his first Formula Renault UK win is absolutely fantastic. We knew Will could do it but he had to cope with a lot of pressure during the race, which he did admirably -- it was certainly the longest race of my life!
"We're going to enjoy this result but our focus is already on the next race meeting at Thruxton in three week's time. This has given us a great boost but we know there's a lot of hard work ahead if we're to continue challenging at the front, which is what we all intend to do for the remainder of the season."
The race victory gives Will 32 points to add to his championship tally, lifting him up from seventh position in the provisional driver standings following Saturday's third round of the season,to fourth place at the conclusion of today's race, eight points adrift of James Sutton and nine points clear of Sebastian Hohenthal.
With A-level exams now taking precedence once more for Will during the coming weeks, the Formula Renault UK Championship resumes at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire on 3rd/4th June for rounds five and six of the season.