Promising start to 2006 for Patrizi Two strong finishes at Brands Hatch put Patrizi fifth in Formula BMW UK Michael Patrizi has had a promising start in the 2006 Formula BMW UK Championship, finishing fourth and seventh in the opening two...
Promising start to 2006 for Patrizi
Two strong finishes at Brands Hatch put Patrizi fifth in Formula BMW UK
Michael Patrizi has had a promising start in the 2006 Formula BMW UK Championship, finishing fourth and seventh in the opening two rounds held at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit on Sunday.
Patrizi qualified his car fifth and seventh for the two 27 lap races amongst an ultra-competitive 22-car field. As the shorter Brands Hatch layout is a mere 1.23 miles in length, it was difficult for the young West Australian to get a clear lap in qualifying, with his final flying laps in both sessions ruined by slower cars. In the races Patrizi used his head and drove two calculated and smooth races, realising that a 20 round championship cannot be won at the first event.
The 21-year-old diced with the lead bunch throughout the opening race. A bunch of four cars that included Patrizi skipped away from the field, and this became three when the second placed car skated off the road.
With a podium on his British debut looking very possible, a Safety Car period bunched the field and in the later stages of the race Patrizi's car began to fade due to set-up issues. Nearing the end, Patrizi was passed for third entering Turn 1 and he settled for fourth, right on the tail of the lead trio.
Race 2 saw Patrizi start deeper in the pack, making it more difficult to make an impression on the podium. As is usually the case in Formula BMW UK, one of the most competitive open-wheel championships in all of Europe, a train of cars all battled for the top positions.
Patrizi and his Motoworld Racing team changed the car's set-up for the second race to try to improve on Race 1, but instead the car was not as competitive, leaving Patrizi to conserve his machine among the frantic racing to bring it home in seventh and leave the classic circuit fifth overall in the Formula BMW UK Championship standings.
The next round of the championship is at the Mondello Park circuit on April 21-22.
Michael Patrizi: "I'm quite happy with the results and speed that I showed this weekend. This was my first ever race in England and I had not been to Brands Hatch until a week ago, so this is a good start to what should be a great year.
"The British racing scene is often spoken about as the most competitive and cut-throat in the world, but having run this weekend for the first time, I'm happy that I worked my way into things pretty quickly and I'm looking forward to Mondello Park in two weeks and the season ahead.
"It was a pity that the car was not right for Race 2. The car faded towards the end of Race 1, so we made a change to the front end. We also made a change to the rear, which in heinsight was the wrong move. It meant the car was quite bad and I just had to circulate to get some points. But I'm pleased with this weekend and the way I worked with the Motoworld team. They are a great crew to work with and I am sure that we will move forward together as the year progresses.
"Overall this is a solid start to the year and an encouraging result for the championship, as I am confident that we can improve as the year goes on and I gain more experience."