ALLEGED FALSE START ROBS BRATT OF BRANDS PODIUM Will Bratt saw his scintillating race pace in today's second round of the Formula Renault UK Championship at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit frustratingly count for very little after being handed a ...
ALLEGED FALSE START ROBS BRATT OF BRANDS PODIUM
Will Bratt saw his scintillating race pace in today's second round of the Formula Renault UK Championship at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit frustratingly count for very little after being handed a debatable 'drive-through' penalty for an alleged false start.
The Apotex Scorpio Motorsport star, who had qualified strongly in third position, made an electric getaway behind pole-sitter Duncan Tappy to move ahead of second-placed Riki Christodoulou on the run towards Paddock Hill Bend.
Breaking away at the front with Tappy, Will looked on course for a minimum of second position and with the distinct possibility of challenging for his second career Formula Renault UK victory.
But a decision by the Clerk of the Course to impose a drive-through penalty on the Adderbury ace at the end of lap six for an alleged false start was met with a great deal of understandable dissatisfaction from the Apotex Scorpio Motorsport team.
Rejoining from the pit-lane a fair way adrift of the tail of the field, Will mounted a superb recovery to end the 24-lap encounter in 15th position and although disappointed with a decision he deemed very harsh, the 18-year-old took solace in his outstanding pace which saw him consistently post laps under the 45 second barrier.
"I'm certain I didn't make a false start", said Will at the conclusion of round two, "Riki in second place made a pretty slow getaway and mine was particularly good so maybe that made things seem as though we jumped the start. What's done is done though, we know we're quick and the team gave me an excellent car today.
"We deserved a podium and we should have had one. It's annoying but these things happen in racing sometimes. At least we know we have a good set-up for our next visit to Brands later in the year."
Apotex Scorpio Motorsport team boss Jon Pettitt was adamant Will hadn't jumped the lights and concurred with his driver the seemingly poor getaway by second-placed Riki Christodoulou may have emphasised Will's near-perfect start to his detriment.
"On the video footage you couldn't see the lights so there's no conclusive proof Will did jump the start", explained Pettitt, "The decision does seem unnecessarily harsh because a podium was definitely there for the taking but we have to look forward now. We know we're a strong package and we'll be back fighting hard at Rockingham."
During the first of today's races Will lined up seventh on the grid and after fighting his way through into fifth position by lap two, he was forced to settle for sixth position at the chequered flag. Again, Will's race pace was very strong, a point proven after setting the second fastest lap with a time of 44.933 seconds.
With 18 points from his round one result and an additional six points for 15th position in round two, Will is currently eighth in the provisional Formula Renault UK standings.
Now returning to his studies at the University of Oxford's Lincoln College, Will's next official track outing will come on Wednesday, 11th April, at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire for a Formula Renault UK test session. Rounds three and four of the 2007 championship will then take place in three weeks at Rockingham Motor Speedway on 21st/22nd April.