Bradley Clinches Formula BMW Pacific Crown

by Peter Allen

Richard Bradley secured the 2010 Formula BMW Pacific title by winning Round 13 at Okayama in Japan. Polesitter Yuichi Nakayama took the checkered flag initially before being excluded for a technical infringement.

Nakayama, making his Formula BMW debut, took pole position in the qualifying session. Starting alongside him on the front row of the grid was Oscar Tunjo, the only driver that could stop Bradley from taking the title. Indonesian Dustin Sofyan started third, ahead of Bradley in fourth.

Nakayama got a good start to keep his lead, while Bradley moved up from fourth into second. Tunjo dropped to third, ahead of Calvin Wong, who passed Sofyan for fourth. Wong continually pressured Tunjo, before getting past on lap eight. The Malaysian then began to chase Bradley. The pair made contact on the final lap, but Bradley held onto second.

Bradley inherited the victory when Nakayama was excluded, with Wong second and Tunjo third. The result put Singpore-based driver Bradley out of reach for Tunjo in both the Drivers Classification and Rookie Cup. Afiq Ikhwan finished fourth, ahead of Sofyan. Kotaro Sakurai had finished between Ikhwan and Sofyan on track, but was also excluded for a technical infringement.

After the race, Bradley said: “As with every race, I went into this one thinking I could win. I had some mistakes in qualifying, but I think we got 75 per cent of them fixed. I knew I was quick at the start and managed to get to second. Towards the end of the race, I dropped off a bit. I do think I had good chance to win.  I'm thrilled to have won the championship and now for the last two races there's no pressure and I can finally have a race with some of the guest drivers without worrying about the consequences. I think one of the reasons why I've been so consistent this year is because of age and maturity. I'm 19-year old and I can calculate these things better. It's been a great year, I've really gelled with the team and it's been a great learning process.”

By becoming the final Formula BMW Pacific champion, Bradley follows in the footsteps of drivers such as GP3 Series driver Rio Haryanto, British F3’s Jazeman Jaafar and former A1 Grand Prix driver Earl Bamber.

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