OLLIE MILLROY LOOKING FOR RETURN TO POINTS FINISH
Rising British single-seater racer Ollie Millroy heads off to Spain next week looking to increase his points haul in the inaugural Formula BMW Europe Championship on the new road circuit at Valencia. The 18 year-old, in only his first season out of karts, scored points in three successive races, prior to the last round at Budapest.
The Claygate teenager had once again set a cracking pace during free practice in Hungary, running consistently in the top five, but in both races he was the victim to some rather over-ambitious driving by his rivals, which damaged his car and finished his chances of scoring points.
Despite that, the MSA Race Elite Academy driver, one of only a handful of drivers in his first season out of karts, has shown an impressive turn of speed. The Fisichella Motorsport International driver remains comfortably among the quickest group and is determined to rack up more points in next weekend's races, which support the Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix.
The BMW Junior Development Driver, one of only four BMW Scholarship winners competing in the series, is the only Briton to have been awarded the prestigious accolade. Now running sixth in the Rookie Cup, the Sunseeker London-backed racer will head to Spain looking to get his event off to a good start with a strong qualifying slot for the two races.
The newly finished street circuit located just outside the city, has been used only once so far prior to the event this weekend, with none of the Formula BMW drivers or teams having any previous knowledge of set up or data. This will ensure that the races, (rounds 11 and 12) will not favour anyone in particular, which should make for an exciting and close-fought weekend.
"I can't wait to get out there and race on the new circuit," said Ollie. "I've been learning the track by doing as many laps as possible on a simulator, which I use at home. I use it a lot and think it's a great help but when it comes to it, it's going to be quite a level playing field and there won't be much advantage for anyone. It's going to be more important than ever for the team to get the car right, because it's going to be very hot and the F1 cars are going to put down a lot of rubber.
"I've been told that the team is going to try a few new things in the free practice session, which hopefully will work and give us a good set-up on the car for qualifying, as this is the area where we've been struggling. If we can get that part right, I'm confident that I could be up there in the top five and driving for some serious points. I am getting a lot of good advice from my new driver coach, Joey Foster, who is not only teaching me new techniques and strategies, but he is also very good at checking data and working with the team."
Just one qualifying session, held on Friday morning, determines the grid positions for both races. A driver's fastest lap time dictates the grid position for race one and his second fastest time for race two.
Ollie's weekend starts with a 30-minute free practice session at 08.45 on Friday prior to 20 minutes qualifying later that day at 12.50. The first 10-lap race gets underway at 17.30 on Saturday afternoon with the second race taking place at 09.20 on Sunday morning.