FOURTH PLACE FOR BRATT DURING OPENING JEREZ RACE Banbury's Will Bratt secured a welcome top four finish during the 14th round of the 2008 FIAT Spanish Formula 3 Championship at Jerez this afternoon, Saturday, 18th October -- the British star ...
FOURTH PLACE FOR BRATT DURING OPENING JEREZ RACE
Banbury's Will Bratt secured a welcome top four finish during the 14th round of the 2008 FIAT Spanish Formula 3 Championship at Jerez this afternoon, Saturday, 18th October -- the British star taking the chequered flag just a second shy of the podium.
Starting the race from the second row after posting the third fastest time of 1m 50.002 seconds (144.913 km/h) during this morning's wet qualifying session, the 20-year-old lost a couple of positions off the line but showed excellent pace as he recovered into fourth place on lap five before tailing third placed Jonathan Legris all the way to the chequered flag.
Not only does the result help Will's bid to end the season inside the championship top 10, it also ensures he will start Sunday's 15th round from third on the grid as the finishing order from today's race determines tomorrow's starting positions -- with the exception of the top six which is reversed.
Speaking after the race, Will commented: "My start wasn't good enough, the two cars behind got away better than I did and so I fell behind them. I managed to get back into the top four after a few laps but then any further progress was very difficult. After some of the bad luck we've had, to take away a fourth place finish isn't too bad though.
"It was especially hard trying to pass (Jonathan) Legris' car as it's so much faster in a straight line. We were losing out by about five or six kilometres per hour so getting into a position to try and overtake was almost impossible. As soon as I got within three or four 10ths of a second of him, he'd be able to pull away on the straights again."
This morning's qualifying session certainly didn't prove to be straightforward with the weather playing a major role. On a wet track, which looked set to dry before the end of the session, Will and his EmiliodeVillota.com Motorsport team took the decision to venture out onto the circuit with slick tyres.
Obviously tricky early on, Will managed to keep his car pointing in the right direction but the circuit failed to produce the dry line which was expected. As qualifying entered its final few minutes, the Oxon racer was 20th so he pitted for wet weather tyres and immediately rocketed into third place, just three 10ths of a second shy of pole position.
"We thought the track would dry sufficiently for slicks to give the best times but it didn't work out that way", he explained, "Added to that, we had a problem with my pit-to-car radio so I came in for the tyre change a bit later than we should have. As soon as we had wet tyres we were fast, it's just a shame we didn't have more time left."
The British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) Rising Star will line up third on the grid tomorrow, Sunday, 19th October, for the 15th round of the 2008 FIAT Spanish F3 Championship which is expected to get underway at 12.30 (local time) approximately.