FORMULA BMW PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER RICHARD BRADLEY SURGES AHEAD WITH THREE RACE WINS Singapore, 7 September 2010 - Drivers' Championship and Rookie Cup leader Richard Bradley of Singapore surges ahead with a 40-point lead after winning all...
FORMULA BMW PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER RICHARD BRADLEY SURGES AHEAD WITH THREE RACE WINS
Singapore, 7 September 2010 - Drivers' Championship and Rookie Cup leader Richard Bradley of Singapore surges ahead with a 40-point lead after winning all but one race at Rounds 7 to 10 of the Formula BMW Pacific series over the weekend. The 19-year-old Briton had to retire from the race whilst in the lead of Round 9 when his engine failed soon after the start. Held at the 2.82-kilometre Guangdong International Circuit in China as part of the Hong Kong Autosport Challenge, it was a most gratifying weekend for Bradley after the Series' four-month hiatus.
"I'm feeling very happy of course; although it was a difficult weekend. We were on the backfoot compared to the other teams as we did not do any running on the circuit. Some of our competitors were able to do more testing here than we did and it didn't help that my engine broke. Fortunately, we managed to overcome the problems faced and it's a great feeling to be back at the top of the podium again," said Bradley.
Qualifying on Friday afternoon took place after heavy showers had passed. The wet track was tricky, causing incidents between drivers that eventually brought out the red flag and shortened the session. This meant limited time for the 16 drivers to do a clean lap and Bradley qualified in second place.
Undeterred, Bradley overtook the pole-sitter by the first corner of Round 7. In the heavy torrents of rain, he never looked back as he led all the way to take the chequered flag first, 5.128 seconds before the next driver.
The rain let up for Round 8 but the track was still damp. Choosing to go on slicks, Bradley grabbed the lead at turn three and pulled ahead of the field. But an incident between other drivers caused a Safety Car period at the end of lap 6, reducing the gap that Bradley had built. With just two more laps remaining, Bradley worked hard and built up the pace again to finish the race first.
Round 9 was unfortunate for Bradley as engine problems on the opening lap forced early retirement from the race for him. He made up for it in Round 10 by getting a good start from pole position and leading to the end. However, the new engine needed more running time before it reaches its peak; hence Bradley had to deal with pressure from the driver behind him who eventually finished just 0.173 second after.
With three race wins from the weekend, Bradley has strengthened his lead in the Drivers' Championship and Rookie Cup and now leads by 40 points. "We had a good chance at winning all four races, but the weekend gave me a lot of confidence going into the remainder of the championship and I can't wait to race in Singapore next!" Bradley added.
The 2010 Formula BMW Pacific series resumes on the streets of Singapore for Rounds 9 and 10 in support of the 2010 FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX at the Marina Bay Circuit on September 24 - 26.