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Category: Euroseries 3000

There is some disappointment in TP Formula at the end of the first of the two Italian rounds as the excellent job done by the team and the amazing pace shown by Crestani were not sufficient to reach again the top of the rankings.

It was clear from the beginning that the task would have not been easy with four highly regarded drivers, separated by a handful of points, in the fight for the title. In this contest just a minor mistake at the start of race 1 was sufficient to jeopardize all the work done throughout the week-end.

Crestani already in free practices had proven to be the most consistent driver, ruling most of the sessions and showing to have found a perfect feeling with the car. Obtained the first row and conscious of the great advantage he had over the rivals, he was confident of being able to grab the first win of the season and so to take a big step towards the title. However a little hesitation at the start ruined everything and the TP Formula driver was overtaken by all the direct rivals. Despite the great pace, also confirmed by the second fastest lap, he had to settle for fourth place.

In the second race, fifth at the start as per the inverted grid, was already third after few laps. The rain, weak at the beginning, increased significantly and Crestani, after recording the fastest lap, opted to return to the pits in order to change tires, anticipating the rest of the field in the hope of then taking the lead. The weather, nevertheless, made an unfair trick to him and the conditions quickly stabilized so that everyone else, except Bonanomi and Dracone, were able to stay with dry tires. In spite of the severe handicap due to the pit stop Crestani tried a difficult comeback, but could not do better than fifth place.

Although the fight for the title will now be harder, with 12 points gap and 19 at stake at Monza, the games are still open and the Italian circuit will definitely be the scenario of a close fight.

Will BrattWill Bratt added two more podiums to his season total at Vallelunga in Italy on Sunday, 20th September, to keep his 2009 Euroseries 3000 Championship title ambitions firmly on track.

With one more event left to run, and only six points separating the British racer from the top of the driver standings, Will is very well placed to challenge for his first international motor racing crown when the season finale takes place at Monza four weeks from now.

The 21-year-old Motorsport driver, who lives in Banbury, took second place in yesterday morning’s 10th round of the campaign and then carved his way through from seventh on the grid in round 11 to take a fine third place – his sixth and seventh podium visits of the year.

“Obviously I’m really pleased to get two more podiums this weekend”, he commented, “The main aim has been to score as heavily as possible and we took away more points than any of the others so, with that in mind, it’s been a success.”

Lining up on pole position for round 10 after dominating qualifying on Saturday, Will made a clean start but a rapid getaway from fellow title aspirant Marco Bonanomi enabled the Italian to get right on terms. At the Cimini corner, Bonanomi produced an unexpected overtaking move to edge ahead and drop Will back to second place.

Remaining tight to Bonanomi’s tail, and posting the fastest lap of 1m25.551 seconds (171.897km/h), the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star pressed on and eventually finished the race just 0.5 seconds adrift.

“It’s annoying to have missed out on the win in the first race but fair play to Marco (Bonanomi), he made a great start and that was the difference”, said Will, “Second was still a great result and with the bonus points for pole position and the fastest lap, it meant we scored the same.”

On the opening lap of the 11th round, which Will started from seventh on the grid by virtue of the ‘reverse’ top eight format employed by the championship, he lost ground initially when forced to take avoiding action to miss the slowing car of Francesco Dracone. Fighting back well, the race then threatened to change when, on lap seven, rain showers arrived.

Fabrizio Crestani, one of Will’s main championship rivals, decided to pit for treaded tyres but the conditions didn’t worsen to the point where wet-weather rubber would prove beneficial so the drivers remaining on slicks had no problem running at a competitive pace.

In the end, Will took a deserved third place and crossed the line on lap 23 just 3.7 seconds shy of race winner Fabio Onidi. Running consistently quickly, the Oxon driver just missed out on setting the fastest lap with a best time of 1m26.765 seconds – just a 10th of a second shy.

Reflecting on round 11, he commented: “The set-up of the car wasn’t ideal when the rain came as we had gone with very stiff settings. To come through and take another podium is a great result though and means we have an opportunity to fight for the title during the final rounds at Monza. I’ve never driven there before but it’s a legendary track and an experience I’m really looking forward to.”

Will’s podium successes this weekend have enabled him to pull six points clear of Crestani in the championship and move him to within three points of second placed Bonanomi. Onidi currently leads the way on 61 points but with two rounds still to go, the 2009 Euroseries 3000 title – and prize drive in the GP2 Asia Series – is still a very realistic prospect for the highly rated British racer.

The world renowned home of the Italian Formula One Grand Prix, Monza, will host the decisive final two rounds of the Euroseries 3000 Championship four weeks from now over the weekend 17th/18th October.

Provisional 2009 Euroseries 3000 Championship Standings (after Rd11):
1st Fabio Onidi, 61pts; 2nd Marco Bonanomi, 58pts; 3rd Will Bratt, 55pts

Photo by Euroseries 3000 Championship

Will BrattBanbury-based racing driver Will Bratt sealed his second victory of the weekend at Valencia in Spain this afternoon, Sunday, 13th September, to move into equal third position in the Euroseries 3000 Championship with an outstanding drive during the ninth round of the campaign.

Following on from an excellent lights-to-flag win during round seven on Saturday, the 21-year-old produced another memorable performance earlier this afternoon in the third of a trio of races at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit to secure win number three of the season in fine style.

Lining up fourth on the grid, Will was leapfrogged by an extremely fast starting Rodolfo Gonzalez but the Banbury-based driver hit back instantly by passing the four cars ahead before they headed into the second corner to take a lead which he held all the way to the chequered flag on lap 23. As on Saturday, he just missed out on the bonus point for fastest lap by a mere four 100ths of a second.

Including his maiden Euroseries 3000 victory at Zolder in Belgium during the previous event three weeks ago, Will has now won three of the last four races and is certainly in the ascendancy in terms of the title battle with just eight points now separating him from current series leader Fabio Onidi.

“To win two out of three races this weekend is fantastic”, said Will, “I’m absolutely delighted with how things have gone and although it was disappointing we couldn’t fight for the podium in the second race, to move into third in the championship caps everything off brilliantly.”

During this morning’s eighth round, Will started from second on the grid but his car wasn’t able to get away from the line as well as he wanted. Subsequent contact from Onidi forced Will onto the grass and while the incident meant the Motorsport racer dropped to sixth position, the clash also resulted in damage to his Zytek-powered Lola. He finished in fifth place.

Will added: “This morning’s race was very disappointing, the contact from (Fabio) Onidi at the start caused some damage and we had a few other issues with the car but the team did a tremendous job to resolve the problems in time for race three to give me a car capable of winning again.”

No sooner has the fourth race meeting of the season been concluded than the Euroseries 3000 Championship will be back in action with rounds 10 and 11 of the 2009 season taking place this coming weekend, 19th/20th September, at Vallelunga in Italy.

Will cannot wait to be back in action as the season heads towards its finale although he does recognise some of his chief championship rivals will have a distinct advantage racing at home in Italy, especially with Vallelunga another circuit the Briton has never visited before.

“Obviously we don’t know the circuit at Vallelunga and we’re fighting for the championship against three Italian drivers (Onidi, Marco Bonanomi and Fabrizio Crestani) so we’ll be up against it”, he said, “It’ll be a tough challenge but we’ll be trying as hard as ever to do the best we possibly can. The title battle is incredibly close, we need another strong weekend like this one – that’s the aim.”

Along with the prestige of becoming 2009 Euroseries 3000 Champion, whoever wins the title when the series concludes in October will also earn a fully funded drive in the upcoming GP2 Asia Series with the Scuderia Coloni squad – a potential springboard to the main GP2 Series in 2010.

Provisional 2009 Euroseries 3000 Championship Standings (after Rd9):
1st Fabio Onidi, 49pts; 2nd Marco Bonanomi, 47pts; =3rd Will Bratt & Fabrizio Crestani, 41pts

Photo by Euroseries 3000 Championship

Will Euroseries 3000 Championship front-runner Will Bratt enjoyed a welcome boost to his title ambitions at Valencia in Spain this afternoon, Saturday, 12th September, by securing his second victory in as many races during round seven of the 2009 season.

Off the back of a tremendous maiden win at Zolder in Belgium three weeks ago, the Banbury racer got his Valencia weekend off to a fantastic start this morning by claiming a dominant pole position for the opening encounter with a scorching lap of 1m23.000 seconds (173.71km/h). Such was his pace, Will’s best lap placed him over two 10ths of a second clear of series leader Marco Bonanomi

Making a good getaway at the beginning of round seven – the replacement race for the cancelled Donington Park event from earlier in the season – the Motorsport driver was never headed throughout the course of the 23-lap race, although he did come under a huge amount of pressure from experienced Euroseries 3000 competitor Fabio Onidi.

With the pair pulling clear at the front and embarking on a race of their own, Will produced a faultless drive on his way to an eventual winning margin of 1.5 seconds from the Italian. Taking 10 points for his win and a bonus point for pole position, the 21-year-old British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star just missed out on the extra point for fastest lap by a mere 0.1 seconds.

Heading into tomorrow’s pair of races at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, Will remains in fourth position in the championship but the four-way battle at the top of the driver standings is closer than ever with a mere six points separating Will, Bonanomi, Onidi and Fabrizio Crestani.

“The weekend has started perfectly for us with pole position for today’s race and our second win on the trot, I couldn’t be happier”, said an ecstatic Will at the conclusion of round seven, “Everything went well this morning, qualifying on pole was very important, and then in the race I was able to control things at the front.

“Fabio (Onidi) did put us under pressure but it wasn’t a problem, the car did what I wanted it to and our pace was good. We managed to pull well clear of the others and with Marco (Bonanomi) not able to finish, the championship has closed right up. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s races.”

During today’s second qualifying period, to decide the starting order for Sunday’s eighth round, Will just missed out on another pole position start by the tiniest of margins – a mere 0.009 seconds – with a best lap of 1m23.328 seconds (173.02km/h). Nonetheless, he will line-up on the front row of the grid once again and so is well placed to challenge for his third back-to-back victory.

The grid for round nine will be determined from the finishing order of round eight, albeit with the top eight finishers reversed. The first race tomorrow, Sunday, 13th September, will get underway at 10.35 (local time) while the second encounter will follow at around 14.25.

Provisional 2009 Euroseries 3000 Championship Standings (after Rd7):
1st Fabio Onidi, 37pts; 2nd Fabrizio Crestani, 34pts; 3rd Marco Bonanomi, 33pts; 4th Will Bratt, 31pts

Photo by Euroseries 3000 Championship

Will Motorsport’s Will Bratt heads into his busiest fortnight of the year in just a few days time when the fourth event of the 2009 Euroseries 3000 Championship kicks off two crucial back-to-back weekends of race action.

The Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, Spain, hosts the only triple-header event of the campaign this coming weekend, 12th/13th September, with the seventh and eighth rounds of the championship also joined by an additional race – the latter arranged by officials to compensate drivers and teams for the cancelled Donington Park rounds earlier in the year.

Banbury-based Will heads to the Spanish venue in confident mood and rightly so having achieved his maiden category race victory at Zolder in Belgium two weeks ago with an outstanding lights-to-flag drive from pole position during round six.

Consolidating fourth place in the driver standings, the fantastic result meant Will moved to within 12 points of series leader Marco Bonanomi – just reward having earlier lost an almost certain podium when a puncture pitched the 21-year-old off the circuit and into an unfortunate retirement.

“Taking our first win of the season at Zolder was a fantastic feeling and we’ll certainly be aiming to try and repeat that this weekend”, said the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star, “It’s going to be a very busy couple of days with practice, qualifying and three races to pack in but it’s a great opportunity to try and score a lot of points and move closer towards the series lead.

“We’ve been on, or very close to, the pace all year so I can’t see any reason why we shouldn’t be quick at Valencia. It’s a home race for the team too so it’d be special for Emilio (De Villota) and the rest of the guys if we could finish on the podium. They’ve done an incredible job all season.”

Free practice for the weekend’s action will take place at 10.00 (local time) on Saturday, 12th September, with a pair of qualifying sessions at 11.55 and 13.15 respectively. The opening race of the weekend is then due to get underway at 17.35. On Sunday, 13th September, race two will begin at around 10.35 with the third encounter scheduled to start at 14.25.

Following the Valencia event, Will and his Spanish-based team embark on a journey to Italy for the 10th and 11th rounds of the season at Vallelunga on 19th/20th September. Like the majority of tracks the Oxon racer has visited this year, the meeting will mark his debut appearance at the circuit but he is greatly looking forward to the challenge as the championship reaches a critical stage.

Provisional 2009 Euroseries 3000 Championship Standings (after Rd6):
1st Marco Bonanomi, 32pts; =2nd Fabrizio Crestani & Fabio Onidi, 28pts; 4th Will Bratt, 20pts

Photo by Euroseries 3000 Championship

Banbury single-seater talent Will Bratt looks unlikely to have the chance to race in the UK this year after the Euroseries 3000 Championship announced the cancellation of its visit to British shores which was scheduled to take place next weekend, 1st/2nd August.

Citing “last minute organisational troubles” relating to the suitable timetable placement of the fifth and sixth rounds of the campaign, category organisers have taken the decision to remove Euroseries 3000 from the planned Donington Park event, the remainder of which is still set to go ahead.

Although the news is disappointing for Will, the championship has already been able to confirm a replacement race which will be held as part of the 12th/13th September event at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, Spain. Rather than the originally planned double-header outing, the Valencia race meeting will now feature three rounds.

“Obviously it’s a shame we’re not going to Donington as we were looking forward to putting on a good performance there”, commented Will, “But it’s great news the championship has already been able to secure an additional race for us at Valencia so I’m looking forward to that. Up first though is Zolder at the end of August, that’s what we’re focusing on now.”

In other news, the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star last week achieved a 2.1 from Oxford University after completing his History degree. Delighted with the result of three years’ hard study, Will is now able to channel even more energy into his motor racing career.

Working hard to secure the required budget and commercial backing for his planned graduation to FIA Formula One World Championship support category GP2 next year, the highly-rated Oxon driver is fully committed to his goal of reaching F1 within the next couple of seasons.

In view of the Euroseries 3000 announcement, 21-year-old Will’s next competitive outing will be at Zolder in Belgium four weeks from now, 22nd/23rd August. The remainder of the 2009 calendar is as follows – Valencia, Spain, on 12th/13th September, Vallelunga, Italy, on 19th/20th September and the finale at Monza in Italy on 17th/18th October.

2009 Euroseries 3000 Championship Standings (after Rd4):
1st Marco Bonanomi, 21pts; 2nd Fabrizio Crestani, 20pts; 3rd Fabio Onidi, 18pts; 4th Will Bratt, 12pts

It was finalized today the agreement between Team Minardi by GP Racing and Davide Rigon for the 2007 season of the Euro Series 3000 Championship.

Davide Rigon had already run in 2006 for the paduan Team in the race of Barcelona, on the Montmelò circuit, actually reaching second place on his first race after having been first for 7 laps.

“We’ve finally signed!” declares the twenty-year-old pilot from Vicenza, after having just signed the contract. “I’ve been very tense this last few days before the finalizing of the agreement, but everything’s gone all right. I’m glad that Team Minardi by GP Racing has believed in me and I hope not to disappoint Giancarlo Minardi and Giancarlo Bada, Presidents of the Team, Tancredi Pagiaro, the manager, the sports manager Giovanni Minardi, and all the team for the faith they’ve put in me with the results obtained on circuit.”

“All the assistance by my sponsors and the people who are dear to me had been fundamental,” goes on Davide Rigon. “And it’s also because of them that I’m ready to do my best for the 2007 season.”