BRATT SECURES MAIDEN FORMULA RENAULT FRONT ROW START Adderbury teenager Will Bratt produced an absolutely scintillating performance during qualifying for the fourth round of the Formula Renault UK Championship at Cheshire's Oulton Park today, ...
BRATT SECURES MAIDEN FORMULA RENAULT FRONT ROW START
Adderbury teenager Will Bratt produced an absolutely scintillating performance during qualifying for the fourth round of the Formula Renault UK Championship at Cheshire's Oulton Park today, Saturday, 13th May,securing his first ever front row start in tremendous style.
While rain played a major role in the outcome of round three qualifying earlier in the day, for the second of the two 20-minute sessions there was a definite dry line appearing on the 2.2-mile Island Circuit and Will immediately showed his promise by heading the times during the first half of the qualifying period.
Having made great strides in Formula Renault UK over the last 12 months, the Scorpio Motorsport ace is now rightly regarded as a genuine front-runner and he certainly backed up this view with a quickest lap of 1m 20.237 seconds (99.87mph) to secure second place on the grid for tomorrow's race - which will be broadcast live on Motors TV.
"It's fantastic to be on the front row of the grid and I'll certainly be trying to make a good start to tomorrow's race", said Will after round four qualifying. "I am a little bit annoyed as I really do feel we could have been on Pole Position but the car has been brilliant in dry conditions and I'm hopeful we can achieve our best ever result tomorrow."
Of course, today also saw the third round of the season take place and after struggling to find the required grip during a rain-affected qualifying session this morning, Will found himself lower down the order than expected in 16th place.
The 18-year-old made a good start to the race but, more importantly, managed to stay out of trouble as several cars ahead of him struggled to pass cleanly through Old Hall Corner for the first time.
With a handful of competitors wheel-spinning on the wet track through the first turn, Will began to make headway mere yards into the race and moved into the top 10 before the Safety Car was deployed at the start of the second lap in order to deal with the chaos which had occurred on lap one.
After the race re-start on lap seven, Will soon found himself in a dice for ninth position with former Scorpio team-mate Peter Rees and it resulted in a successful outcome for the Oxon star.
On lap 11, with increasingly persistent rain making visibility extremely difficult, Will crossed the line in ninth place, just four 10ths of a second adrift of Stian Sorlie, to take a deserved 12 points -- he is now eighth overall in the championship standings.
While disappointed to have started further down the grid than he would have liked, the former T-Car Champion was nonetheless pleased to have made his way into the top 10 with some spirited driving.
He said: "I couldn't see a thing out there, the spray was terrible but it's a good result for us considering our grid position. I got a really good start off the line but as I put the throttle down it was difficult to find traction. We made quite a few places on the first lap which was good but now our attention is on tomorrow's race."
The fourth round of the 2006 Formula Renault UK Championship is timetabled to start at 15.00 tomorrow, Sunday, 14th May, and will be covered live on channel 413 of the Sky Digital platform, Motors TV.