FOURTH VICTORY OF SEASON FOR BRATT BOOSTS TITLE HOPES Apotex Scorpio Motorsport's Will Bratt produced an inch-perfect performance during round 16 of the Formula Renault UK Championship at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit this afternoon to achieve an ...
FOURTH VICTORY OF SEASON FOR BRATT BOOSTS TITLE HOPES
Apotex Scorpio Motorsport's Will Bratt produced an inch-perfect performance during round 16 of the Formula Renault UK Championship at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit this afternoon to achieve an excellent second position, although this was then declared a victory for the Oxon ace following the post-race exclusion of title rival Duncan Tappy.
Having produced incredibly consistent lap times in his pursuit of Tappy throughout what would become a 27-lap encounter, 19-year-old Will crossed the line at the end of the race less than four 10ths of a second behind the Fortec Motorsport driver. However, a protest by Apotex Scorpio resulted in Tappy being thrown out of the race classification.
Starting second on the grid after a superb run during qualifying on Saturday afternoon, where Will just missed out on his third career pole position by a mere eight 100ths of a second, the Adderbury-based sensation made a fair getaway at the start of round 16 and remained in close company with Tappy throughout the duration of the race.
At the conclusion, however, Loughborough-based Apotex Scorpio's protest against the legality of Tappy's car was looked into and upheld by the series' Chief Scutineer Keith Auld who ruled the Fortec machine to be non-compliant with the regulations in relation to the fixation of the floor.
Excluding Tappy from the results and, of course, stripping him of the win, the net result sees Will awarded with his fourth win of the current campaign and he was also credited with the fastest lap of the race, 44.899 seconds, to gain two vital bonus points.
The ruling by Keith Auld is to be appealed by Fortec Motorsport though so the results will remain provisional until the necessary hearing by the Motor Sports Association (MSA), a date for which has not be confirmed at this stage.
Taking a maximum 34 points from the race, added to 14 points from an eighth place finish during the earlier round 15, Will has seen his standing in the championship title race boosted yet further.
With 346 points compared to Tappy's 427, when the category's double 'drop-score' ruling is taken into account -- which sees competitors duty bound to discard their two worst scores of the campaign -- Will has 340 points compared to Tappy's 385. Using drop scores, Dean Smith emerges at the head of the table with 392 points.
"Finishing second was a good result for us, especially after the eighth place earlier which we were pretty lucky to come away with, but to be declared the winner of the second race now is great news", commented Will, "Obviously, I want to win on the track rather than through a scrutineering decision but I'll take the victory whichever way it comes!
"I'm very happy with my performance in the second race, I didn't make a single mistake and I lapped very consistently. We're still a good few points behind Dean (Smith) and Duncan (Tappy) in the driver standings but I'm confident we should be able to have a strong weekend during the next two rounds and maybe close the gap a bit more."
Lining-up in seventh position on the grid for this morning's 15th round, Will did have some problems with grip on what was a damp circuit at the time, but his challenge was made even harder after he strayed wide on the exit of Paddock Hill Bend on lap six.
Causing damage to the underside of his car, the University of Oxford scholar worked wonders to keep a train of cars behind him and took the chequered flag in eighth place,