AWESOME BRATT TAKES THIRD WIN ON THE BOUNCE AT OULTON Will Bratt continued his amazing run of recent success during round nine of the Formula Renault UK Championship at Oulton Park Island Circuit in Cheshire this afternoon with an incredible ...
AWESOME BRATT TAKES THIRD WIN ON THE BOUNCE AT OULTON
Will Bratt continued his amazing run of recent success during round nine of the Formula Renault UK Championship at Oulton Park Island Circuit in Cheshire this afternoon with an incredible victory from fourth position on the grid; the result seeing the Apotex Scorpio Motorsport ace secure a back-to-back hat-trick of 2007 race wins.
On the back of a supreme double victory and two pole position starts at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire three weeks ago, the 19-year-old was rightly confident heading into the weekend's brace of races and this afternoon's stunning win sees Will move into fourth place in the championship standings, just four points adrift of the top three.
Making a customary lightning start from the second row, the Adderbury ace took the lead at the first corner from pole-sitter Dean Smith, having already dispatched Duncan Tappy and Adriano Buzaid, and from that point on he was never headed.
"It was a great start but I didn't do anything special, I just did what I try to do at the start of every race and it worked really well", said an ecstatic Will, "I got alongside Dean on the run to the first corner but I wasn't ahead of him so I knew I had to be firm, put him under pressure into Old Hall, and it paid off.
"The car was ballistic for the first five or six laps but then it started to go off a bit and Dean started to catch me but I kept my cool. We know we've had the pace to do this since the start of the season but to win three races on the trot really is fantastic."
As a circuit which holds very fond memories for Will, Oulton Park's Island configuration the venue for his maiden Formula Renault UK success last season, the weekend did threaten to pose more of a challenge than usual as he missed Friday's pre-event test sessions due to important exams at the University of Oxford.
To that end, nobody could have expected the outstanding performance Will would deliver today, firstly in the 20-minute qualifying session and secondly in the race itself to underline his and Loughborough-based Apotex Scorpio's deserved position as genuine title contenders.
"We definitely think we can realistically challenge for the championship", added Will, "I know the Fortec drivers still have a good lead but we came back into Formula Renault UK to win the title this year and we're doing a great job. To win three races back-to-back is an amazing feeling and it proves we deserve to be at the front."
With qualifying marking Will's first appearance at Oulton Park since the pre-season test in March, his performance in securing the fourth fastest time for the round nine grid was all the more impressive.
Immediately on the pace at the beginning of the session and topping the times early on, Will pitted and then emerged with five minutes remaining to set a best lap of 1m 20.094 seconds (100.05 mph) on his final tour -- just 0.033 seconds shy of the front row.
In round nine itself, Will posted the second fastest race lap en route to victory with a time of 1m 20.003 seconds on his fourth tour, just 0.043 seconds shy of the fastest lap of all.
Thoroughly delighted with his driver's stunning performance, Apotex Scorpio Motorsport team boss Jon Pettitt said: "Will was absolutely outstanding today, he is driving so well and while we thought we could challenge for the podium from fourth on the grid we do have to admit the win was a surprise.
"What makes today's result so sweet is that it was a straight fight and Will won fair and square -- to do so from fourth on the grid as well is just incredible. Arriving fresh at the circuit this morning, having missed Friday's test, and to qualify on the second row with a time almost good enough for the front row was fantastic."
Round 10 of the 2007 Formula Renault UK Championship, which will be broadcast live on digital satellite and cable subscription channel Setanta Sports 1, is timetabled to begin at 17.30 tomorrow, Sunday, 24th June, with Will starting the race from fifth position.