PAC: Richard Bradley 2010 season review
FORMULA BMW PACIFIC 2010 CHAMPION RICHARD BRADLEY CELEBRATES A SUCCESSFUL ROOKIE SEASON
Singapore, 28 December 2010 - When Richard Bradley completed his last kart race of 2009, the Formula BMW Pacific 2010 champion and top rookie knew that he would win his rookie formula car racing season - simply because he only races to win. True enough, the 19-year-old sole Singaporean representative in the series sealed the championship before the end of the season. Having led the championship right from the start, Bradley achieved the most number of outright race wins (including guest drivers) and the largest winning margin ever (of 76 points over the next driver) in the history of Formula BMW Pacific.
Formula BMW is a premier entry-level single-seater racing series which groomed many Formula 1 drivers on their way up.2010 Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel and other F1 drivers like Nico Rosberg, Nico Hulkenberg, Adrian Sutil, Timo Glock, Sebastien Buemi and Bruno Senna were all former Formula BMW champions in their younger days. Hulkenburg won the title in 2005 by finishing five points ahead of Sebastien Buemi in second place and Vettel was second in his rookie year of Formula BMW in 2003.
Celebrating a successful 2010 debut season in formula car racing, Bradley looks forward to Formula 3 next.
Here is a summary of Bradley's journey this year:
Bradley Makes Spectacular Debut With Two Race Wins
Formula BMW Pacific Rounds 1 & 2
Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia, Formula 1 Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix
Although this was Bradley's first time racing in formula cars, it proved to be no issue when he made a spectacular debut at the opening rounds of the championship which were held as support races to the Formula 1 Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix. Finishing second in Friday practice and qualifying in pole position on Saturday, the stage was set for a promising finish by Bradley. Clinching back-to-back victories in Rounds 1 and 2, he set the fastest lap times for his first two single-seater races ever and his pole position time was a new record in a Formula BMW at Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia.
Round 1 - 1st
Round 2 - 1st
Championship lead of 12 points
Bradley Triples Championship Lead Despite No Podium Finishes
Formula BMW Pacific Rounds 3 - 6
Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia, Asian Festival of Speed
Despite some bad luck with technical issues and on-track collisions in Rounds 3 and 4, Bradley remained calm and displayed brilliant driving prowess in times of adversity to triple his lead at the top of the Championship tables to 34 points ahead. He clocked competitive timings during practice, but qualifying was spoiled by traffic problems on his flying lap when his tyres were at their best and he only qualified in sixth place.
In Round 3, Bradley charged up to third place from sixth before Turn 1, but midway through the race was hit by a guest driver attempting to pass him, breaking his left rear wheel in the process and ending his race prematurely.
That was not the last of his misfortune as he was hit by another car at the second turn after the start of Round 4. Bradley had raced up to third place from fifth when he was knocked off the circuit and had to rejoin the race in second last place. Aggressively chasing the rest of the field, Bradley eventually finished ninth despite having damage to his car.
Starting in 18th place for Round 5 due to his non-finish in Round 3, Bradley launched a hot pursuit of the frontrunners and was up to fourth place by the fourth lap. However, Bradley simply ran out of laps and crossed the finish line a fraction of a second behind the third placed driver. In the final race of the weekend, Bradley maintained his excellent performance and scored maximum points for the race when he finished ahead of all the other Formula BMW Pacific drivers.
Round 3 - DNF (Incident)
Round 4 - 9th
Round 5 - 4th
Round 6 - 4th
Championship lead of 34 points
Championship Leader Bradley Surges Ahead With Three Race Wins
Formula BMW Pacific Rounds 7 - 10
Guangdong International Circuit, China, Hong Kong Autosport Challenge
A wet Friday afternoon caused qualifying to be shortened as the session was red-flagged due to multiple incidents. With limited time to do a clean lap, Bradley qualified in second place. Regardless, he overtook the pole- sitter by the first corner of Round 7. In the heavy rain, he never looked back as he led all the way to take the chequered flag first, 5.128 seconds before the next driver.
Racing on slicks on a damp track for Round 8, Bradley grabbed the lead at turn three and pulled ahead of the field. An incident between other drivers brought out the Safety Car at the end of lap 6 and reduced the gap that
Bradley had built. Later, with two more laps remaining, Bradley built up the pace again and finished the race first.
Round 9 was unfortunate as engine problems on the opening lap forced early retirement from the race for Bradley whilst he was leading. Nonetheless, he made up for it in Round 10 by getting a good start from pole position and leading to the end.
Round 7 - 1st
Round 8 - 1st
Round 9 - DNF (Engine Failure)
Round 10 - 1st
Championship lead of 40 points
Bradley Wins First Street Race At Home
Formula BMW Pacific Rounds 11 & 12
Marina Bay Circuit, Singapore, Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix
A controversial weekend saw post-race penalties alter the initial results of both races, but Bradley widened his championship lead to a 55-point stranglehold with a win in Round 11 and a podium finish for Round 12.
Qualifying was special as Bradley raced under the lights on Friday night. A mistake during his fastest lap cost him pole position, placing him in second. Bradley then started from second place on the grid for Round 11 on Saturday afternoon. He took the lead from Turn 7 in the first lap and led for the rest of the race until the final lap when Formula BMW Europe guest driver Daniil Kvyat of Eurointernational hit him from behind. Kvyat took the chequered flag but was subsequently penalised for the move by the stewards, awarding Bradley the win. Bradley scored full points for Round 11 with an additional point for qualifying.
The second race on Sunday afternoon was an incident-filled one as drivers knocked into each other and took each other out. Bradley remained calm amid the mayhem and focused on the championship. He crossed the finish line in fourth but was boosted to third place after the initial race winner received a post-race penalty.
Round 11 - 1st
Round 12 - 3rd
Championship lead of 55 points
Bradley Crowned Champion and Top Rookie With Two Races To Go
Formula BMW Pacific Rounds 13 & 14
Okayama International Circuit, Japan, FIA World Touring Car Championship
Bradley clinched the 2010 Formula BMW Pacific Drivers' Championship and Rookie Cup titles after winning Round 13. Starting from fourth place on the grid, Bradley soon took second place and went in hot pursuit of race leader Yuichi Nakayama (guest driver), who qualified in pole position. Although Nakayama crossed the finish line first, the win was awarded to Bradley as Nakayama was faulted for a technical infringement. With a lead of 62 points, Bradley convincingly clinched the championship as only 41 points were left on offer for the remainder of the season. He finished second in Round 14 after some tussling on the track and helped his team, Eurasia Motorsport, secure the Team Championship title.
Round 13 - 1st
Round 14 - 2nd
Clinched Drivers' Championship and Rookie Cup titles after Round 13 Championship lead of 77 points
Bradley Wraps Up Season With Biggest Winning Margin Ever In
Formula BMW Pacific History
Formula BMW Pacific Round 15
Guia Circuit, Macau, 57th Macau Grand Prix
With the pressure off the newly-crowned champion, Bradley took on one of the most challenging street circuits in the world - the Guia Circuit - at the season finale in Macau. Qualifying on the tight Guia track was interrupted by numerous red flags and ended abruptly just as Bradley was pushing on a lap that looked good for pole. Having to settle for third on the starting grid, he was battling for second place on the first lap when he hit the rear of another car at the infamous Lisboa turn.
After a necessary pit stop for a nose replacement and tyre change, followed by a drive-through penalty for his involvement in the earlier incident, Bradley rejoined the race at the back. Working hard through the 27-strong field, he managed to overtake many on the narrow circuit and finished in 17th.
Round 15 - 17th
Championship lead of 76 points
Multiple Kart Racing Champion Makes Successful Comeback Asian Karting Open Championship Round 1, The Philippines
When the Formula BMW Pacific series paused for a four-month break after Round 6, Bradley, a former multiple British kart racing champion made a return to karting at the opening round of the Asian Open Karting Championship (AKOC) in June to keep fit and enhance his race craft.
Since he last raced in karts in November 2009 at the WSK International Series (Super KF category), Bradley had not karted competitively. Still, that did not stop him from clinching pole position before going on to win all three heats, the pre-final as well as the final at the Formula 125 Senior class of AKOC.
Since he first raced in karts at the age of eight, Bradley has gone on to raced at KF1 (Karting Formula 1), the highest level of kart racing, and has won numerous titles, including the 2008 British Open Championship. He became the youngest ever winner of a Formula A S1 MSA British Kart Championship round at the age of 15 years and 8 months and had three Top 6 finishes in the 2009 CIK FIA Super KF1 European Championship. In addition, he was a CIK-FIA sponsored young driver in the 2009 CIK-FIA Super KF1 World Cup and CIK-FIA Super KF1 World Championship.
Bradley Continues To Inspire Away From The Track
Away from the track, Bradley has been an inspiration to aspiring race drivers and fellow motorsports enthusiasts through interactions with the public, including the community at large. He is the ambassador for F1 in Schools in Singapore, advocating the importance of technical and engineering knowledge in motorsports. He also made special guest appearances at the K1 Karting Series 2010, where he shared his racing experiences and secrets to success.
-source: richard bradley