This weekend, the Formula Palmer Audi Autumn Trophy arrives at Brands Hatch for the deciding meeting of the mini-series. After Snetterton last weekend, the battle for the overall title is still very much open, with just 10 points separating the...
This weekend, the Formula Palmer Audi Autumn Trophy arrives at Brands Hatch for the deciding meeting of the mini-series. After Snetterton last weekend, the battle for the overall title is still very much open, with just 10 points separating the top three in the points table.
Heading to Kent atop the table is 16-year-old wonderkid Luciano Bacheta. The Essex youngster won his very first single-seater race at Snetterton last Sunday, and followed it up with a third place and another victory. His haul of 66 points out of a possible 72 earned him the lead, but with only a two-point advantage, he knows that every point will count: "It's nice to be leading but there's three races at Brands and anything could still happen!"
Bacheta's nearest rival is California's Dane Cameron. The 18-year-old Team USA Scholarship driver hopes to follow in the footsteps of predecessors Paul Edwards and Phil Giebler in winning the Autumn Trophy. Now used to the ins and outs of a 300bhp turbocharged FPA car, Cameron is confident of success: "I learned quite a bit about saving tyres and boost as well as racing and strategy at Snetterton, and I think it will make me more prepared at Brands this weekend."
Cameron and Team USA compatriot Robert Podlesni (currently fourth in the series) took the opportunity to gain some experience of Brands Hatch's unique Indy circuit, by testing a Formula Ford car on the circuit today (Friday). "It's a very interesting circuit," commented Podlesni. "A Formula Ford car is a bit different from the FPA but it's useful to know what the track is like."
Meanwhile, just eight points behind Cameron and 10 behind Bacheta, Aaron Steele remains right in contention for the title. The 17-year-old gave the leading pair a run for their money throughout the Snetterton weekend and believes he can snatch the championship from under their noses: "I think I can do it!" said Aaron. "It's a very small gap, there's three races and neither Luciano or Dane have raced a single-seater around Brands before. You never know what's going to happen, but I think I'm in with a shout!"
Free practice and qualifying is tomorrow (Saturday), with the three races, each being contested over 26 laps of the 1.2-mile Indy circuit, taking place on Sunday.