WILL BRATT -- 2006 SEASON PREVIEW In just 10 days time, teenage Formula Renault UK star Will Bratt begins his second full season of single-seater action; the opening two rounds of the 2006 championship taking place at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit...
WILL BRATT -- 2006 SEASON PREVIEW
In just 10 days time, teenage Formula Renault UK star Will Bratt begins his second full season of single-seater action; the opening two rounds of the 2006 championship taking place at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent.
The 17-year-old, who ended his first year in Formula Renault UK as Vice-Champion of the category's 'Graduate Cup' class, has enjoyed a strong pre-season of official testing and along with his Scorpio Motorsport team, led by Jon Pettitt and Tony Trevor, the Adderbury sensation is confident of a successful campaign.
Last season, Will's pace gradually improved throughout the year, culminating in a career-best Formula Renault UK result of fifth position during the fourth and final round of the 2005 Winter Championship at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire.
So, benefiting from the essential continuity of remaining with Loughborough-based Scorpio this year, Will is hopeful 2006 will begin to bring the kind of success he enjoyed in 2004 when he won the T-Car Championship with 14 victories from 18 race starts.
"I'm really looking forward to the new season", commented Will, "It's going to be a tough year, there are some very quick drivers in the championship again this season, but I'm confident we've shown in testing we have the pace to be among the top six.
"I've enjoyed the pre-season and we certainly seem to have made some good progress so far but the proof of where we really are compared to the others will come in qualifying next weekend. We just have to wait and see what happens.
"We know we've got work to do, both from me as a driver and from the team with the car, but if we can find the three or four 10ths of a second pace differential we know is there to be achieved, we'll be up there among the front-runners and that's where we want to be."
Away from the racetrack, 2006 also promises to be a memorable year for Will through his education. Currently entering the final stages of his A-level studies at Bloxham School near Banbury, the Oxon teenager is expected to go on to read History at the University of Oxford's Lincoln College, having been offered a provisional place last year.
"It's undoubtedly going to be a tough year for me but I'm prepared for the challenge and the hard work", added Will.
"I'm determined to be a success in my education and my racing, they're equally as important to me, and I'll be giving 100 per effort to both. It'll be a very busy, mentally demanding and pressurised year but I'm looking forward to it."
Contested over 20 rounds, the 2006 Formula Renault UK Championship will visit all of the country's premier motorsport venues including Oulton Park in Cheshire, Donington Park in Leicestershire, Silverstone in Northamptonshire and, of course, Brands Hatch.
Each of the category's race meetings will feature two points-scoring races and alongside its support of the prestigious British Touring Car Championship at eight BTCC events, Formula Renault UK will also appear at two additional stand-alone outings.
The first of these two will be a special Renault Festival in June at Knockhill in Scotland while the second will see Formula Renault UK act as support to the World Series by Renault during its annual British round at Donington Park in September.
Will's attention now turns to Brands Hatch Indy Circuit and the opening two rounds of the Formula Renault UK Championship in just 10 days time. With qualifying set to take place on Saturday, 8th April, both races are scheduled for Sunday, 9th April. Before then, the series competitors will take part in a pre-event test session on Friday, 7th April.