EXCELLENT START TO THE SEASON FOR RAPID BRATT Scorpio Motorsport's Will Bratt continued to prove his worth as a genuine Formula Renault UK front-runner at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit today, leaving the Kent venue seventh overall in the 2006 ...
EXCELLENT START TO THE SEASON FOR RAPID BRATT
Scorpio Motorsport's Will Bratt continued to prove his worth as a genuine Formula Renault UK front-runner at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit today, leaving the Kent venue seventh overall in the 2006 driver standings after a brace of impressive race results.
The 17-year-old headed into the first two races of the year high in confidence after showing excellent pace in qualifying on Saturday but the Adderbury teenager was also mindful of the Indy Circuit's notoriety as perhaps the most difficult track to overtake on.
Round one quickly saw this point proven with Will setting faster race laps than the two drivers ahead of him, Sam Bird and Cheng Cong Fu, but he was frustratingly unable to make a decisive attempt at a pass with the field largely running line astern throughout the 24 laps.
Having started in eighth position on the grid, just three 10ths of a second outside the pole position time, the Scorpio Motorsport ace put those immediately ahead of him under incredible pressure but was unable to force them into a mistake. Nonetheless, eighth place and 14 championship points were a very good return from the first race of the year.
In round two, Will would start from the third row of the grid after producing a career-best fifth place start during the second of Saturday's qualifying sessions. Once again, his lap times in round two were consistently quick but after losing a place off the line to race one podium finisher Jeremy Metcalfe, Will had to be satisfied with sixth position.
Confirming his pre-season testing pace with a very strong start to the new Formula Renault UK season, the Apotex Pharmaceuticals-backed ace heads to the third and fourth rounds of the year at Oulton Park Island Circuit in five week's time in seventh position in the championship with 32 points.
Speaking on a rewarding opening two rounds of the season, Will said: "I'm very happy with the way the weekend has been for us, we've shown our testing pace was no fluke and we're genuine contenders for the top six positions now.
"It was a shame to lose the place off the line in round two, especially as during the race I could see I was quicker than Jeremy (Metcalfe) and (Sebastian) Hohenthal. It's almost impossible to overtake on the Indy Circuit so there wasn't a lot I could do other than keep putting them under pressure and hoping I could force either of them into a mistake."
Will added: "In the first race I launched well off the line but then got too much wheel-spin and so it allowed (Fabio) Onidi to try and a make a move on me. I went round the outside of him at Druids Hairpin though, which was good, to get eighth position back and I knew if (Sam) Bird had made a mistake I would have been through into seventh place.
"He didn't make a big enough error though so I just had to sit behind him and wait for any opportunities. I produced some very consistent lap times which I'm very happy with and I think the whole team is delighted we've come away from Brands Hatch with a top six and top eight finish -- it's a fantastic start to the season for us."
With the opening race meeting of the season now complete, Will turns his attention back to his A-level studies and will also spend some time celebrating his 18th birthday this Thursday, 13th April.