BRATT CLOSES IN ON CHAMPIONSHIP TOP THREE AT OULTON Apotex Scorpio Motorsport sensation Will Bratt continued his seemingly relentless march towards the Formula Renault UK Championship top three at Oulton Park today, Sunday, 24th June, with a ...
BRATT CLOSES IN ON CHAMPIONSHIP TOP THREE AT OULTON
Apotex Scorpio Motorsport sensation Will Bratt continued his seemingly relentless march towards the Formula Renault UK Championship top three at Oulton Park today, Sunday, 24th June, with a hard-fought sixth place finish during the 10th round of the season.
Having won the last three races back-to-back with a trio of absolutely spell-binding performances Will knew, from fifth on the grid, he faced a tall order to make it an unbroken run of four wins. But he still showed all the signs of a star in the making with a determined and gutsy showing taking him to within 11 points of the series top three.
While the start to yesterday's victorious round nine drive at the 2.2-mile Island Circuit couldn't have been any better, today's getaway from the grid proved more difficult with a small clutch problem seeing the 19-year-old Adderbury racer slipping to the tail end of the top 10 as he headed into Old Hall corner for the first time.
With his sights set on getting back on terms with the front-runners as quickly as possible, Will set about the task with gusto and at Island Bend on the opening lap he was already back into seventh position. This quickly became sixth when third-placed Adriano Buzaid got it all wrong at the chicane.
Into lap two, the Apotex Scorpio star was right under the rear wing of Nathan Caratti's car as they headed down the Avenue towards Cascades. Staying tight to the back of the AKA Cobra driver, Will produced an outstanding and very brave overtaking manoeuvre under braking into Knickerbrook Chicane to seize fifth place from the Australian.
Unfortunately on lap six, recovering pole-sitter Dean Smith managed to find a way past Will at Old Hall but with the latter also getting past Richard Singleton a few tours later it meant the Welshman would be the Oxon star's next target.
Pressuring Singleton during the last five laps, Will wasn't quite able to attempt a decisive move but sixth position -- and the 18 championship points to go with it -- mean the University of Oxford scholar is now firmly back in contention in the title race.
"I'm frustrated the start to today's race wasn't good but to finish sixth today, added to the win yesterday, is a very good return from the weekend", commented Will, "Considering how far down the order we were by the time we reached the first corner I'm fairly happy with today's result.
"My aim was to make as many places back as possible on the first lap and that's what we did. I thought during the last few laps I could pass (Richard) Singleton but we started to lose a bit of pace. I think I pushed a bit too hard during the middle part of the race and then we ended up with some understeer."
Will added: "Obviously, I wanted to win again today but we've still had a good points finish which is very important for the championship. I can't wait for Donington Park now in three weeks, I'm confident we can be strong there."
Taking 50 points in total from the weekend, Will's increasingly strong position in the driver standings is even more impressive when remembering he missed Friday's test sessions due to University exams.
Now, with a three-month recess in his education, the 2004 T-Car Champion can focus fully on his racing. The next track outing for Loughborough-based Apotex Scorpio will come just over a week from now on Tuesday, 3rd July, for official testing at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent.
The next race meeting, meanwhile, takes place three weeks from now on 14th/15th July at Donington Park National Circuit in Leicestershire.