Will Bratt fastest on Spa debut

Bratt continued his maiden Formula 3 season in truly breathtaking style at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium yesterday, the 20-year-old setting the quickest time during pre-event testing ahead of the weekend’s third and fourth rounds of the 2008 FIAT Spanish F3 Championship.Having never been to the world-famous Spa circuit before, Will certainly faced an incredibly steep learning curve prior to today’s two short 30-minute test sessions but he produced a typically exemplary performance to lead the way half a second clear of his nearest rival on combined times.Bedding himself, and his EmiliodeVillota.com Motorsport run Dallara car, into the track over just 11 laps during this morning’s first session, the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star then set about posting fast times this afternoon where he achieved a best lap of 2m 19.364 seconds (180.899 km/h) – the quickest of the day.“This morning we weren’t worried about times at all, I needed to learn the track and we worked on some changes to the car”, explained Will, “With the sessions so short and with lap times well over two minutes each in an F3 car, we only had about 10 laps in which to get the car as we wanted it so that was quite a tough challenge.“In total we did less than 20 laps today but to emerge fastest, and by quite a chunk of time too, is fantastic. We’re really very pleased, especially as I’ve never been to Spa before. I’m happy with the way I drove the car today and also with the great work the team has done.”Producing his second timesheet-topping performance in as many pre-event tests, Will having set the fastest practice time at Jarama in Spain ahead of the opening two rounds of the championship at the start of May, the Oxford University scholar now aims to translate today’s pace into a season’s best qualifying performance.He added: “Tomorrow is when it really counts. It was great to lead the way today after such a short introduction to the track but we need to produce a similar performance in qualifying tomorrow. I’m confident we should be able to challenge for a spot on the first couple of rows on the grid. If we can, I think we’ll be very strong in tomorrow’s race.”Qualifying for the third round of the 2008 FIAT Spanish Formula 3 Championship will take place at 10.45 (local time) tomorrow, Saturday, 31st May, at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. The first race of the weekend will follow at 15.35 with round four timetabled to start at 15.05 on Sunday, 1st June.Provisional 2008 FIAT Spanish F3 Championship Driver Standings (after Rd2):1st Victor Garcia, 19pts; 2nd Jaime Alguersuari, 18pts; 6th Will Bratt, 11pts

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