DREAM QUALIFYING FOR BRATT LEADS TO FIRST WIN OF SEASON AT CROFT Formula Renault UK front-runner Will Bratt claimed his first victory of the 2007 campaign at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire this afternoon with an excellent drive, a deserved win...
DREAM QUALIFYING FOR BRATT LEADS TO FIRST WIN OF SEASON AT CROFT
Formula Renault UK front-runner Will Bratt claimed his first victory of the 2007 campaign at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire this afternoon with an excellent drive, a deserved win following on from an outstanding qualifying performance earlier in the day which saw the Apotex Scorpio Motorsport star secure his maiden category pole positions.
On what has so far been a perfect weekend for the 19-year-old from Adderbury, he not only took his first ever Formula Renault UK pole position by two 10ths of a second but then went on to claim his second careerpole for Sunday's eighth round after posting the second fastest lap of any driver during the sole 20-minute qualifying session.
An electric getaway from the grid at the beginning of round seven saw Will calmly lead into Clervaux for the first time and after opening up a good lead from his pursuers over the first half dozen laps, the Oxon sensation then began to come under pressure from fellow title contender Dean Smith.
Will wouldn't be denied his maiden victory of 2007 though and although Smith appeared to have more grip available to him, the Apotex Scorpio ace maintained his advantage into the closing stages of the race. Then, with just a couple of laps remaining, a spin for Ryuji Yamamoto at Sunny Out resulted in red flags being shown.
Ending champion team Fortec Motorsport's recent run of dominance which has seen the squad take five wins from the last five races, Will's success at Croft this afternoon -- a year since his last Formula Renault UK victory -- has seen him move up two places into fifth position in the standings. Although tied on 121 points with Jeremy Metcalfe, Will is credited with fifth place by virtue of better race results throughout the season so far.
"It's terrific to be back on the top step of the podium", said a delighted Will at the end of round seven, "I made a great start and felt comfortable for the first few laps but then from about lap six or seven we started to struggle with grip. We knew after Friday's test we'd be strong this weekend but to get my first pole in Renault and to win is amazing.
"In qualifying the car worked really well and I was able to do what I wanted with it which was great. Actually, on my second quickest lap I made a small mistake and put a wheel off the circuit so we could have been even quicker. To take pole for both races is fantastic, I think I quite like the one session format now -- we should have it more often!"
Having taken pole position for round seven with an excellent lap of 1m 17.176 seconds (99.12mph), Will's second fastest time of 1m 17.393 seconds saw him superbly claim pole for tomorrow's eighth round of the season -- a remarkable performance considering he completed a total of just four laps during the entire qualifying session.
Will was also very close to achieving the two bonus points for the fastest lap of the race in round seven with a time of 1m 18.577 seconds, just five 100ths of a second outside the best posted by series leader Duncan Tappy. Impressively, the University of Oxford scholar set his quickest race time on lap two, the first flying lap.
Round eight of the 2007 Formula Renault UK Championship is timetabled to begin at 14.00 tomorrow, Sunday, 3rd June, and will also be broadcast live on digital satellite and cable subscription channel Setanta Sports 1.