BRAKE FAILURE RESULTS IN EARLY EXIT FOR BRATT AT ABU DHABI Party Poker Racing.com Scuderia Coloni driver Will Bratt was forced to make an early exit from the second round of the 2009 GP2 Asia Series at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi this ...
BRAKE FAILURE RESULTS IN EARLY EXIT FOR BRATT AT ABU DHABI
Party Poker Racing.com Scuderia Coloni driver Will Bratt was forced to make an early exit from the second round of the 2009 GP2 Asia Series at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi this morning, Sunday, 1st November, when brake failure eight laps from home caused an immediate retirement.
Running strongly at the time in the middle of an entertaining battle over 13th place with reigning International Formula Master Champion Fabio Leimer and French World Series by Renault graduate Charles Pic, as the trio headed along the back straight Will's car didn't offer any stopping power at all as the front-left brake disc exploded meaning contact with Leimer was unavoidable.
Showing fantastic presence of mind and great reactions though, the Banbury 21-year-old was able to minimise the severity of the impact by pitching his car sideways to scrub off as much speed as possible -- an effort which didn't go un-noticed by respected British Eurosport GP2 commentator Gareth Rees during the live race coverage.
"It's such a shame the brake disc exploded as our pace was good and we were running comfortably in the midfield", said Will, "My start was compromised when my team-mate Roldan (Rodriguez) almost stalled directly in-front of me so I had to avoid him and that lost me some time and several places unfortunately.
"It's been a very tough weekend but we gained a lot of knowledge which should stand us in good stead for the next two rounds in Abu Dhabi next February. My lap times improved greatly throughout the weekend, from the opening test all the way through to today's race, so as far as that goes I think we've shown we can certainly be competitive in GP2."
Starting today's Sprint Race from 12th on the grid, Will had no option but to lose ground initially as Rodriguez failed to get away cleanly. Taking avoiding action, the Euroseries 3000 Champion managed to limit the damage and ended lap one in 15th place. Will then gained a further position at the expense of Rodolfo Gonzalez when the Venezuelan pitted for a drive-through jump start penalty.
Running well in 14th place, the Oxon driver kept Pic at bay while also focusing his attentions on Leimer ahead who was never much more than a second to the good. By lap 10, Will was within just 0.7 seconds of Leimer and looked well placed to challenge but on lap 15 the aforementioned brake failure led to a bitterly disappointing retirement for both competitors.
Having progressed strongly throughout his maiden race weekend as a GP2 driver, the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) Rising Star improved his lap times markedly and in today's encounter his fastest time of 1m54.196 seconds was just half a second shy of race winner Christian Vietoris' best.
Will now has a lengthy 14 week break from race action with the third and fourth rounds of the GP2 Asia Series not taking place until 5th/6th/7th February 2010, once again at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. He will, however, be back in a GP2 car for the three-day official main series test at Paul Ricard in France a little over a week from now on 10th/11th/12th November.