Bradley Gravett Scores New Personal Best at Snetterton
Posted by BRADLEY GRAVETT
Bradley Gravett secured a new personal best for the second weekend in a row as his Vertu Motors MINI CHALLENGE campaign continued at Snetterton.
The EXCELR8 Motorsport driver made the trip to the longest circuit on the calendar, buoyed by a breakthrough weekend on home soil at Brands Hatch, where he picked up his highest-ever race finish with a breakthrough podium.
With confidence on a high, Bradley hit the track for Friday testing looking to dial the car in for the unique challenge of the Snetterton circuit, which blends some of the fastest corners and longest straights on the schedule with two low-speed hairpins.
Fifth quickest during the morning session, Bradley would then go sixth fastest in the afternoon to leave himself in a solid position going into Saturday's qualifying session.
Lapping more than a second quicker than he had done in testing, Bradley found himself sitting on provisional pole ten minutes into the session, but as others found time on their second runs, he was shuffled back down the order to end up in eighth spot.
A storming opening lap in race one saw Bradley move up into the top five, with the highlight being a move on Dominic Wheatley going into Oggies. That would prove to be the key moment of a race where overtaking was at a premium, with Bradley keeping Wheatley at bay throughout to cross the line in fifth spot.
With guest entry Sam Weller not able to score, Bradley picked up points for fourth place and went into race two, looking to maintain his forward progress and fight for a second podium finish of the campaign.
Once again getting away off the line well, Bradley quickly moved up into third spot but was then nudged wide by Weller going through turn one at the start of lap two. Forced off line as a result, Bradley could do nothing to stop a train of cars behind, following Weller through, as he dropped back to eighth place.
Showing his racing prowess, Bradley battled ahead of Wheatley and team-mate Oliver Meadows and benefitted from Will Orton dropping out to replicate his race one result - taking the flag in fifth place but scoring points for fourth.
Just missing out on the reverse grid draw, Bradley would line up in fifth place for race three and, as earlier in the day, wasted little time in jumping up into the podium positions through the opening corners.
Unfortunately, Bradley would lose out in a three-wide battle with Weller and team-mate Dan Zelos on the tricky infield section and slipped down the order, leaving him running in seventh spot when the action was halted early due to an incident on track.
Scoring points for sixth place, Bradley ended the weekend with a combined total of 106 from the three races, making the Snetterton meeting the highest-scoring weekend of his MINI CHALLENGE career to date.
With dropped scores taken into account, Bradley sits sixth in the standings ahead of round four at Oulton Park next month.
"I think it's an indication of how my expectations have raised that I've scored more points this weekend than ever before, but I still feel slightly frustrated with the results," he said.
"The podium at Brands Hatch has given me a real taste for silverware, and going into the weekend, my focus was firmly on trying to challenge for more trophies.
"Although we didn't quite have the pace I was hoping for in qualifying, I made the most of some demon starts to get into a strong position in all three races, and I'm sure we could have scored at least one podium had it not been for some robust driving from other people.
"Whilst I'm disappointed on one hand that I didn't manage to get the results I was looking for, on the other, scoring points for two fourth places and a sixth is a really good haul and has moved me up in the championship standings.
"With a short break before Oulton Park, this is a good time to relax and recharge the batteries a bit so we can look to come out fighting in the next round. I've had a good start to the season, and there is no doubting the fact that I've shown I have the pace to be a front-runner, and it's only due to circumstances outside our control that we aren't right up there in the points.
"Hopefully, I've got all my bad luck out of the way, and the focus from here on is firmly on challenging for podiums and putting as many points on the board as possible."
Bradley Gravett is supported by GERKO, ThinkingitBetter, Ultimate Car Control, My Custom Workwear, Scalextric, Elite Vehicle Chargers, Flying TV, PolyChrome Studios, DriverAssist.ME, Bradbury Racing, Alexander James Interiors, Tesouro Timepiece and Crypto Saving Expert.