FIRST PODIUM OF SEASON FOR BRATT AT ROCKINGHAM Formula Renault UK front-runner Will Bratt secured his first podium of the 2007 season at Rockingham International Super Sports Car Circuit today after making an outstanding start from the third row...
FIRST PODIUM OF SEASON FOR BRATT AT ROCKINGHAM
Formula Renault UK front-runner Will Bratt secured his first podium of the 2007 season at Rockingham International Super Sports Car Circuit today after making an outstanding start from the third row of the grid during the first of today's two championship races.
After saying the start to rounds three and four would be critical to the outcome of his races during post-qualifying interviews yesterday, the 18-year-old Banbury driver made good on his word during the first of today's two 16-lap encounters after moving from fifth on the grid to third position thanks to an electric getaway.
The Apotex Scorpio Motorsport star needed all his resolve and determination to make the necessary gains however when seriously robust defence from a slow-starting Riki Christodoulou saw Will edged onto the grass on the run towards the banked Turn One.
Keeping his right foot planted firmly on the accelerator, Will ensured the place would be his with some gutsy driving and after surviving an overtaking attempt by Jeremy Metcalfe on lap two into the infield hairpin at Tarzan, the Oxon ace went on to claim a deserved podium just a couple of seconds shy of second-placed Dean Smith.
Unfortunately for Will and the Apotex Scorpio team, the delight of his round three success was tempered during the second race of the day when, on the opening lap, he was forced into retirement due to an over-zealous passing attempt by Alexander Sims.
Pitting at the end of the lap with damage to the right-hand side of his car, Will saw the opportunity of a potential top six result -- having started seventh on the grid -- totally evaporate leaving team and driver vexed at the loss of vital championship points.
"I suppose we can sum up the weekend by saying we were fast but very frustrated", said Will at the conclusion of the weekend, "We're all obviously delighted with the podium, the team gave me a good car and although I was forced onto the grass at the start I was fully committed into taking third place by the time we reached the first hairpin.
"Jeremy (Metcalfe) did try to pass me from a long way back on lap two and I thought we may make contact but after that it was just a case of lapping as consistently as possible and staying within reach of the first two in case they made a mistake or had a problem."
Will added: "It was a big disappointment to be forced out of the second race as we really needed a couple of solid scores this weekend but the thing to take away with us is that we know we're quick and we're not all that far away from the ultimate pace."
The fifth and sixth rounds of the 2007 Formula Renault UK Championship will take place two weeks from now on 5th/6th May at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire.