CROYDON RACER BACK ON HOME GROUND FOR SEASON FINALE Croydon's Bradley Ellis returns to do battle on his home circuit of Brands Hatch, Kent, in the final rounds (19 and 20) of the Formula Renault UK Championship with Michelin on Saturday 1 and ...
CROYDON RACER BACK ON HOME GROUND FOR SEASON FINALE
Croydon's Bradley Ellis returns to do battle on his home circuit of Brands Hatch, Kent, in the final rounds (19 and 20) of the Formula Renault UK Championship with Michelin on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 October 2005. The 18-year-old will be aiming to deliver a decent result to cap his first season of single seater racing.
Since joining the Mark Burdett Motorsport team, both Ellis and team have experienced a season of mixed fortune. It is clear with flashes of brilliance in qualifying that Ellis has the speed and determination to get to the front of the field, but lady luck has not been a friend and the results have not truly reflected his potential.
After just two races, Ellis qualified as the highest newcomer for round three at Thruxton, Hampshire, and went on to repeat this achievement several times throughout the year. Further proof of his pace and ability was evident in round 14 at Knockhill, Fife, in August where he qualified seventh, lining up on the third row of the grid amongst vastly experienced single seater racers. Proving this was no fluke, the Croydon teenager secured ninth on the grid at Donington Park, Leicestershire, last month for round 15.
Despite his qualifying performances, Ellis has been disappointed not to bring home the results he and the team deserves. His first single seater races at Brands Hatch earlier in the season ended in disaster when the onboard computer failed at the end of the rolling lap, meaning he was unable to select the correct gear or read the engine revs for the start, putting pay to his chances.
Other races the 18-year-old would prefer to forget include Oulton Park, Cheshire, and Croft, North Yorkshire, where gearbox gremlins spoiled his chances on both occasions. August and round 11 at Snetterton, Norfolk, brought more disappointment when Ellis suffered a broken front suspension in the opening lap chaos only to recover and suffer engine failure all within a few short laps.
The worse moment of Ellis' season so far, however, was undoubtedly at Knockhill. After qualifying seventh, Ellis was running in eighth place when he was rear-ended by Frenchman Jean Robert Niogret, sending Ellis into the pit wall. Astonishingly the accident happened during a safety car period.
It is perhaps a little ironic, therefore, that the former British Kart Champions' top three results of the season are all 13th place finishes, proving it is only a short matter of time before Ellis breaks into the top ten.
Ellis may have had some poor luck but he's not ready to give up yet: "I'm aiming to end this season on a high and I'll be giving my all at Brands Hatch," he said. "We are due to race on the Grand Prix circuit, which I haven't experienced before. The first time I will get to drive it will be in qualifying on Saturday morning but I'm looking forward to the challenge and in particular to mastering the Dingle Dell Corner!
"We've worked hard all season to develop the car and I've proved my pace and potential in qualifying. At the last rounds of the championships, I want to turn that qualifying form into the race result we all deserve, as the team has done such a great job this season."
Qualifying for rounds 19 and 20 of the Formula Renault UK Championship will be on Saturday 1 October at 9am and 1.30pm. The penultimate round of the Formula Renault UK Championship will take place at 4.50pm on Saturday with round 20 on Sunday at 3.35pm. Other racing not to be missed includes rounds 28, 29 and 30 of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at 11.30, 13.40 and 16.20 on Sunday. All times are provisional.