BRIDGMAN CLINCHES TITLE AT CROFT
Third place does the job for Tim
The 2007 Visma Formula Palmer Audi Championship has been won by Tim Bridgman, after finishing third in round 19 at Croft.
Bridgman only needed three points to beat Stefan Wilson in the overall standings, and his third-place finish sealed the title.
"I'm over the moon, absolutely ecstatic," said a delighted Bridgman.
Asked if there would be celebrations tonight, he said; "I don't think so. I've got an appointment with my personal trainer at 6:30am tomorrow."
Bridgman also paid tribute to FPA's founder and director Jonathan Palmer: "I'd like to thank Jonathan for the opportunity to race, and show what I can do in a one-make championship. He and I spoke at a very late stage and just made it happen. The aim right from the start was to win the championship, and I have."
Victory in round 19 went to Effingham's Jack Clarke, who started on the front row of the grid alongside pole sitter, Luciano Bacheta.
Bacheta looked strong in the early stages of the race, building a lead over the chasing duo of Clarke and Bridgman, but with Bridgman's thoughts on the title race, it was Clarke who was chasing harder. Having closed the gap, Clarke made a sensational pass on Bacheta on the penultimate lap at the hairpin and kept his lead to the flag.
"I made an average start, and spent most of the race trying to keep with Luciano. He wasn't much quicker in the middle of the race though, so I knew I would be able to put a move on him at some point."
"In many ways, yesterday's DNF after only two laps helped me out today, as it meant that my tyres were much better towards the end of the race," said Clarke.
Luciano Bacheta has been the in-form driver at Croft, but couldn't fend off Clarke at the end of the race. "Jack had the measure of me everywhere. I could see him in my mirrors having better turn-in thanks to his fresh tyres, and I could only keep him off on the exit of corners. I went defensive at the hairpin to keep him off, but he was just too fast," said Bacheta.
Fourth place went to Stefan Wilson, who battled from ninth on the grid with an impressive display of overtaking. "The championship was an outside shot really, but I'm really happy with some of my overtaking moves. It all bodes well for the future," said Wilson.
The grid for round 20 will be formed from the driver's best lap times from rounds 18 and 19. <pre> Visma Formula Palmer Audi Championship Round 19 classification
1. Jack Clarke 24m18.138s 2. Luciano Bacheta +0.354s 3. Tim Bridgman +1.031s 4. Stefan Wilson +5.635s 5. Tom Bradshaw +6.103s 6. Alex Brundle +7.329s 7. Matt Hamilton +7.804s 8. Richard Plant +19.821s 9. Richard Kent +20.921s 10. Chris Chubb +21.815s