BRATT JUST MISSES OUT ON EIGHTH PODIUMOF SEASON Oxon single-seater star Will Bratt consolidated third position in the 2007 Formula Renault UK Championship standings at Donington Park Grand Prix Circuit earlier today, Sunday, 9th September, after...
BRATT JUST MISSES OUT ON EIGHTH PODIUMOF SEASON
Oxon single-seater star Will Bratt consolidated third position in the 2007 Formula Renault UK Championship standings at Donington Park Grand Prix Circuit earlier today, Sunday, 9th September, after two strong races during the World Series by Renault-supporting 17th and 18th rounds of the campaign.
As the 19-year-old's most important weekend of the season, competing in-front of a huge Donington Park crowd which was said to top 135,000 over the duration of the race meeting, he was disappointed not to be on the first two rows in qualifying but typically powerful race performances helped Will achieve top six and top four finishes in the two outings.
Starting this morning's 17th round from sixth on the grid, the Apotex UK and Serif (Europe) Ltd-backed racer made a clean getaway and although losing-out to Alex Morgan early on, Will wouldn't allow the Manor Competition driver to break away.
Hassling Morgan over the next few laps, Will tried everything he could to try and create an opening but the former defended well as the Apotex Scorpio Motorsport ace then started to have problems with understeer.
As the race neared its conclusion, Will continued to press Morgan and the pair looked to be catching Dean Smith and Alexander Sims who were battling over third position but there was nothing he could do and so brought the car home safely in sixth place, just seven 10ths of a second shy of Morgan at the line.
Starting race two from sixth place again, this time Will was able to make inroads and climbed into fourth place on the opening lap after getting ahead of series returnee Joe D'Agostino and his team-mate Alexander Sims.
Although the podium proved just out of reach in the end, following a short Safety Car period between laps two and five the Adderbury sensation started to apply pressure to third-placed Dean Smith although behind Will, Richard Singleton was also starting to zero-in.
With his car still not completely to his liking, Will pressed on as best he could but on lap six at Goddards it was Singleton who managed to edge ahead into fourth spot after Will lost ground when trying to make a move on Smith into Melbourne Hairpin.
It was immediately obvious though, Singleton wasn't as quick as Will and the University of Oxford scholar was held-up. Through Foggarty's Esses, down the Melbourne loop and up into Goddard's on lap eight, Will applied serious pressure to Singleton before the Welshman succumbed by sliding off the circuit himself on lap nine on entry to the Old Hairpin.
Leaving the path clear for Will to return to the top four, the Apotex Scorpio ace continued to push in the hope of catching Smith before the end for the final podium place and on lap 12 Will set the second fastest lap of the race with a time of 1m 30.078 seconds. In the end though, he had to settle for fourth place which was nonetheless a more than decent result.
"We really had hoped to challenge for wins or podiums at the least this weekend, especially after being fastest in testing, but it just didn't work out unfortunately", reflected Will, "It hasn't been a disastrous weekend, finishing sixth and fourth is still decent enough but we've lost too much ground in the championship. We've extended the gap to fourth place though.
"In qualifying we had lots of problems in the slow-speed hairpins and while the car was better today, being held up by Singleton in the second race probably cost me the chance of of a podium which would have been great to achieve in-front of so many people, especially with all of our guests from Serif and Apotex UK."
There is now a five-week break in the Formula Renault UK calendar with the season finale taking place at Thruxton Circuit on 13th/14th October, the second visit of the campaign to the Hampshire venue for the championship competitors.