Will Bratt took part in his first session in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship as he went out for Free Practice One on a damp Oulton Park circuit in his championship debut.
The 25-year old, who joined the Rob Austin Racing team following a recent test at Rockingham Motor Speedway, managed to post a time which was good enough for 11th fastest in the NGTC-specification Audi A4 after commanding 10th for much of the latter parts of the session.
“I’m still learning the car,” commented Bratt after posting a time of 1:39.198 which was 1.75 seconds off the pace of Jason Plato. “It’s completely different to anything that I’ve driven before. It’s twice as heavy as the cars I’m used to driving. I’ve got to learn how the car behaves and just get used to it.”
Bratt went on to say, “Ideally I’d like the track to dry out because when it rains it makes it hard to learn a new car so if it dries out I can push the car and really feel what it does on the limit but at the moment it’s just too slidy.”
“It was a good performance and the team are pleased and they’ve been around in the championship for longer than I have so that’s always a good sign.”
Rob Austin, who competed in the previous three rounds of the season, is taking a back seat this weekend following extensive damage to his Audi last time out at Thruxton but he’s enjoying his role as Team Boss.
“I think he did a really good job,” said Rob. “We tend to lose our advantage with the car being rear-wheel drive when the tracks wet but considering it’s his first time around Oulton Park in the car in only his second outing I think a really good job to be 11th.”