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Category: Formula Two

Will Bratt - Spa Formula 2 WinnerWill Bratt secured his maiden FIA Formula 2 Championship race victory in sensational style at the immensely challenging Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium this afternoon, Saturday, 25th June, thanks to a superbly judged performance in a wet fifth round of the 2011 season.

The Banbury 23-year-old, who started the race fifth on the grid, made a good getaway and after an exceptionally bold move around the outside at the first corner, he swept into second on the run down the hill towards Eau Rouge before taking the lead at the exit of Les Combes.

From there, the Briton built and maintained a healthy lead – punching in fastest race laps when he needed to – before taking the chequered flag on lap 16 some 2.5 seconds clear. The fantastic win, in very tricky conditions, has hoisted Will back into the championship top five, just a single point shy of fourth place.

“It’s fantastic to get the first win, it’s definitely been a long time coming”, said the Oxon racer after a drive which showcased his skills at their brilliant best, “This has put us back into the thick of things in the championship which is exactly what we needed after Magny-Cours. I can’t wait for tomorrow now, there’s no reason at all why we shouldn’t be challenging at the front again.”

During practice on Friday, 24th June, Will was fourth fastest in the damp opening session, within half a second of the top of the timesheets, before running 10th quickest in session two. Round five qualifying this morning was fiercely contested in very wet conditions but as the track dried towards the conclusion, Will had to settle for fifth fastest despite holding pole position at one stage.

Before the start of the race there were some concerns regarding oil on the circuit in the proximity of Will’s grid slot but he made no mistakes as the action got underway, holding fifth into La Source and boldly going around the outside on the brakes to be in a position to move into second.

Claiming the place and immediately threatening pole-sitter Ramon Pineiro, Will committed himself to full attack mode through the daunting climb up Eau Rouge and along Kemmel Straight. Running close behind Pineiro through Les Combes and piling on the pressure, the Spaniard then made a mistake at the middle part of the right-left combination of turns and Will happily grabbed the lead.

Some two seconds clear into lap two, his advantage was cut to just half a second the next time around but from there Will increased the gap steadily and after reeling off a succession of fastest laps at mid-distance he ran untroubled to a richly deserved, and long-awaited, maiden F2 victory – his first race win since memorably taking the Euroseries 3000 title in 2009.

Will added: “My start was good and after I decided to go to the outside for the first corner, I made up a load of time on the brakes which got us up into second. I committed hard to Eau Rouge and that put me in a good position behind (Ramon) Pineiro to pressure him through Les Combes. From there it was a case of keeping the car in-line to avoid the damp patches and bringing it home.”

Qualifying for round six of the 2011 FIA Formula 2 Championship will get underway at 09.00 (local time) tomorrow, Sunday, 26th June, with the race itself scheduled to commence at 14.20. Cable and digital satellite channel Motors TV will broadcast live coverage of round six from 13.10 UK time with live streaming online at www.formulatwo.com

Provisional 2011 FIA Formula 2 Championship Standings (after Rd5):
1st Christopher Zanella, 86pts; 5th Will Bratt, 53pts

Photo by FIA Formula Two Championship

Will BrattBanbury’s Will Bratt completely dominated official FIA Formula 2 Championship testing at Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk today, Tuesday, 7th June – a timely reminder of his obvious title potential with little more than a fortnight to go until the next two rounds of the 2011 season.

Topping three of the day’s four sessions, the 23-year-old was in absolutely sensational form and he rounded-off the test in the fourth and final run – the only session of the day in which the car’s ‘push-to-pass’ overboost function is enabled – almost half a second clear of anyone.

“I’m really happy with how today unfolded, we were on it from the off and very quick all day”, said Will, “It’s a nice feeling when you’re so dominant but testing is one thing, we need to try and repeat this at Spa in a couple of weeks in qualifying and the races. I’m determined to get right back in the championship hunt there and I really think a couple of wins are possible.”

The 2009 Euroseries 3000 Champion began the day 0.5 seconds ahead of his closest challenger with a lap of 1m39.222 seconds (107.71mph) in session one before again going quickest in session two with a time of 1m40.032 seconds (106.84mph).

Although just missing out on being fastest in the first of the afternoon’s two outings by a mere 0.1 seconds, having posted a lap of 1m39.373 seconds (107.55mph), Will surged back to the top of the timesheets in the fourth and final run with a superb 1m38.044 seconds (109.01mph). Ending the day 0.4 seconds clear, the talented Briton signaled notice of his undoubted ability and pace.

Currently seventh in the championship standings after a difficult weekend at Magny-Cours in France last time out, Will is fully focused on moving back up the points table when Formula 2 returns to Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on 25th/26th June for rounds five and six of the campaign.

With experience of the track from his time in the Spanish Formula 3 Championship (now branded the F3 European Open) back in 2008, Will heads towards the F2 event there knowing it provides a great opportunity to secure his maiden category victory.

Despite his clear ability and proven track-record at international level, Will is still facing an uphill challenge where racing budget is concerned. In order to complete the season in F2 more funding is required. Details of the sponsorship and marketing opportunities available can be obtained from Henry Spratt at Enterprise Sports Management on 0207 5903667 or henrys@enterprisesports.com

Provisional 2011 FIA Formula 2 Championship Standings (after Rd4):
1st Christopher Zanella, 71pts; 7th Will Bratt, 28pts

Photo by FIA Formula 2 Championship

Last weekend’s Formula 2 race has been one to forget for Edoardo Piscopo at Imola. Running in the Italian race of the 2009 championship, Piscopo has been hit by technical issues again. On the two races, he respectively scored his 7th DNF due to mechanical problems in 7 events, while he was forced to recover on Race 2 by a grid penalty, showcasing a masterful passing ability despite a set-up problem. Edoardo will be back ontrack on September 18 at Monza, in the Italian round of the 2009 Formula 3000.

“It’s been another tough weekend. In practice I ended up in 11th and 8th place, but technical issues slowed me down or stopped from then on for all the two days. I did everything I could and I tried so hard, but that’s how it ended up. I look forward to the next race, in the Euroseries 3000 at Monza”.

Edoardo Piscopo ended up a troubled Fomula 2 weekend at Oschersleben by adding another points finish to his championship. The Italian was hit once again by mechanical issues in qualifying 1, when he was forced to the back by a gearbox issue. After losing his chances to fight for the top-5 on Qualifying for Race 2 due to a red flag, he ran into deeper troubles when he suffered from a clutch failure at the start of Race 1, and was forced to take off from the pitlane. At the end of the day, Piscopo climbed up to 12th, before battling his way up to 8th on Race 2, showing once again huge determination and impressive passing skills. Heading on the for the upcoming round at Imola, Edoardo is eager to show his true potential in front of the home crowd.

“I’m sorry to have seen a potentially good weekend, as shown on practice, conditioned by technical issues. Qualifying has been tough, as I was slowed down on the first session by gearbox issues, and then hit by a red flag during my last and only clean lap. On Race 1 things went even worse when a clutch problem sent me from the pits, where I had to be push-started. I tried to do what I could to get back, but on such a small racetrack like Oschersleben chances were really limited. On Race 2 I managed to climb up to eight thanks to a good start and a couple of fine moves, scoring another point. I’m sure people at home had fun, but I’m really looking forward to a quieter round at Imola, on one of my favourite racetrack.”

Edoardo PiscopoAt Brands Hatch, Edoardo Piscopo entered the fourth round of the 2009 Formula Two season, scoring two points finishes.

Unfortunately, race results were totally overshadowed by a terrible accident that claimed the life of F.2 contender Henry Surtees. The British driver was hit by a flying wheel after a crash at Sheene, and passed away aged 18, in a total shock for motorsports fans and insiders.

“It’s a great tragedy, and we’re all shocked for what happened. It’s been a really unfortunate accident that could have happened to anyone of us. Henry was a good guy and a great driver and, in these terrible moments, my thoughts are with the Surtees family”

“I ended up both races in the points zone, but results mean nothing after what happened. Being back on-track at Donington will be tough for everybody”.

Edoardo Piscopo eventually cruised to a points finish in the first event of the brand-new FIA Formula 2 Championship. Edoardo made a quick start in practice at Autodromo Ricardo Tormo in Valencia. The Italian then qualified in 3rd and 6th row for the two races. “Practice went on really good – told Piscopo – even better than I expected. In Qualifying 1 I was quite satisfied by 7th place, while in the second session I was heavily conditioned by traffic. With such a soft tire, you only get one shot to the pole, and the fact that so many cars are covered by a small gap doesn’t help”

On Race1, the Williams JPH1 driven by Piscopo completed just a few kilometers, stopping with a mechanical problem. The second race brought Edoardo to a good comeback: he climbed up to 7th, then kept position until the finish “I faced a really hard luck on Race 1 as I was stopped by a problem. On Race 2 i managed to put together a decent recovery up to 7th place. I tried to find my way past Aleshin, but there was not enough speed differential for a move, especially at Valencia. Seventh place is a good start though. I’m confidently looking forward to the next event at Brno”