BRIDGMAN TAKES FIFTH FPA WIN OF THE SEASON But he had to fight hard to earn it Tim Bridgman out-manoeuvred his Visma Formula Palmer Audi Championship competitors to finish first in an incident-packed wet race today. The Laser Motor Company...
BRIDGMAN TAKES FIFTH FPA WIN OF THE SEASON
But he had to fight hard to earn it
Tim Bridgman out-manoeuvred his Visma Formula Palmer Audi Championship competitors to finish first in an incident-packed wet race today.
The Laser Motor Company driver snatched the lead from pole-sitter Jack Clarke off the start but had to fend off a chasing pack for the entire 19 laps.
"I ended up costing myself a lot of time in the race because I was being pushed quite hard," said Bridgman, who is leading the FPA driver championship. "I went straight on at the first chicane all by myself. I was pretty lucky to win really because it was very hectic."
Clarke put himself out of the race trying to regain the advantage on lap six. "I'm not too sure what happened," said the JTB Racing driver. "I was going quick and thought I'd have a shot at Bridgman. I hit the inside tyre wall at Bobbies and just took my wheel off. It's a real shame."
A few laps later Bridgman found himself being challenged by Jolyon Palmer, son of FPA founder and former F1 driver Jonathan Palmer. "I was up his inside and he didn't give me any room," said Palmer, who ended in the tyre wall bringing out the safety car. "I was flying before that. The car set up was perfect and I was catching the leaders. I'm pretty annoyed really.
Bridgman had a different take on the incident. "Jolyon put his nose up the inside of my car and hit my rear right corner," he said. "There's on-board footage so that will sort it out but I'm fighting for the championship so I'm not going to take unnecessary risks with Jolyon who isn't."
As the safety car came out, Tom Bradshaw was leading from Bridgman after getting ahead as a result of Palmer's incident.
"The safety car didn't really play into my hands," said Bradshaw, who eventually finished third. "Everybody closed up and I had a good battle with Bridgman for a few corners.
"Unfortunately he ran me over the grass at Bobbies and put me into second. I made an error and let Bacheta through and after that it was just about maintaining my place."
Luciano Bacheta drove a perfect race, starting eighth but moving through the field to claim second place.
"It was a bit hairy to start off with in the wet," said the Tradelink driver, who is currently second in the championship standings. "I started really quick in the wet and I was catching the leaders at a ridiculous rate. After the safety car, when the track was drying, I started to struggle a bit. I didn't want to get involved in the battle between Bridgman and Bradshaw and get a DNF."
Other noteworthy drives include Alex Brundle, son of ITV's F1 commentator and former F1 driver Martin Brundle. He started ninth but ended the race in fourth.
"It all came together for me after I struggled in qualifying yesterday," said the THB Clowes Insurance driver. "It was wet today, which makes a world of difference. I find in conditions like that sometimes race experience doesn't count for so much. I can race with guys who have been racing a lot longer than me on a level playing field."
Today's second race will start at 15.30.
Visma Formula Palmer Audi Championship
Round 12 Classification
1. Tim Bridgman, 26:37.961
2. Luciano Bacheta, 26:38.448
3. Tom Bradshaw, 26:40.438
4. Alex Brundle, 26:42.438
5. Jason Moore, 26:44.252
6. Matt Hamilton, 26:44.842
7. Stefan Wilson, 26:46.053
8. Howard Spooner, 26:47.243
9. Richard Plant, 26:47.716
10. Ivan Lukashevich, 26:51.923