Will BrattGP2 Asia Series debutant Will Bratt produced a solid drive during the FIA Formula One World Championship-supporting opening round of the season in Abu Dhabi this morning, Saturday, 31st October, to secure a creditable top 12 finish.

Having encountered problems in qualifying, which meant the 21-year-old from Banbury would start from an uncharacteristic 23rd on the grid for his maiden GP2 race, he dealt with the demands of the stunning Yas Marina Circuit well – along with two Safety Car periods – to finish just six seconds shy of experienced Party Poker Racing.com Scuderia Coloni team-mate Roldan Rodriguez.

Not only did today’s 33-lap Feature Race mark Will’s first in GP2, it also included his maiden taste of pit-stop action with the opening encounter on any given GP2 weekend including a mandatory tyre change for each driver.

Lapping more competitively than he was able to in qualifying, the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star posted a fastest race lap of 1m55.861 seconds which was just eight 10ths of a second outside the pace of top six finisher Christian Vietoris.

“Finishing 12th today is a pretty good result, especially considering where we started”, said Will, “I was happier with our pace today but there is still a lot to find so I’ll be working hard with the team to see where I can improve and get closer to the guys ahead.

“We put together a solid race which was pleasing after problems in qualifying. It was fantastic to be involved in a GP2 race for the first time, especially at such an incredible new track like Abu Dhabi, and the pit-stop was a new experience for me too. It all went well but now we’re focused on trying to unlock more pace for tomorrow.”

By virtue of the round one result the 2009 Euroseries 3000 Champion will line-up on the sixth row of the grid for the Sprint Race tomorrow, Sunday, 1st November, which will be beamed live across the UK on digital satellite and cable channel British Eurosport.

Round two of the 2009 GP2 Asia Series is timetabled to begin at 13.30 local time, 09.30 GMT, with coverage carried on Sky Digital channel 410, Virgin Media channel 521 and also through the Top Up TV service. Please check listings for more information.

Photo by GP2 Asia Media Service.