KEEN TRIUMPHS IN OPENING ROUND OF AUTUMN TROPHY
Confident wet weather performance from Richard
Victory in the first round of the Visma Formula Palmer Autumn Trophy this morning went to Amersham's Richard Keen.
Keen started the race from the front row of the grid, alongside pole-sitter Will Bratt and ahead of Jonathan Legris and Tim Bridgman.
Keen found excellent traction in the wet conditions, and was side by side with Will Bratt going into Paddock Hill Bend for the first time. Bratt had the racing line though, which kept Keen at bay. Legris lost three places after a poor start, with Bridgman, Jack Clarke and Jason Moore all passing him.
Keen chased Bratt hard during the opening lap, but a spin by American driver Patrick Barrett brought out the safety car. Once it returned to the pits, Keen's pursuit resumed and he eventually found a way past Bratt at Druids on lap six.
Bratt's defence of second place was also shortlived, after a trip through the gravel at Paddock Hill Bend demoted him to fifth.
With Bridgman now comfortably in second, but not in a position to challenge Keen, his attention turned to picking his way through the backmarkers. Behind him Jason Moore and Jack Clarke enjoyed a fierce battle for third and fourth place respectively.
A succession of fastest laps from Richard Keen ensured he would hold the lead until the chequered flag, to take a tremendous win on his FPA debut. "Bratt held me off at the start, but I managed to get him at Druids. I just tried to be as smooth as possible, and didn't touch the boost at all," said Keen.
Tim Bridgman finished a fraction over five seconds behind Keen, and was happy with the result. "The first few laps were eventful, but once I got into second place, the race quietened down. The traffic towards the end of the race slowed me down, and I thought that Jason might catch me, so I was checking my mirrors all the time," said Bridgman.
Jack Clarke battled hard to overhaul Jason Moore for third, but eventually had to settle for fourth place at the finish line. <pre> Visma Formula Palmer Audi Autumn Trophy Round one classification
1. Richard Keen 24m52.531s 2. Tim Bridgman +5.353s 3. Jason Moore +9.696s 4. Jack Clarke +10.087s 5. Will Bratt +10.758s 6. Jonathan Legris +11.347s 7. Alex Brundle +24.022s 8. Richard Plant +24.418s 9. Rob Sunderland +24.951s 10. Maxim Snegirev +30.317s