ALREADY SMELT THE CHAMPAGNE Place: Spa-Francorchamps Dates: 5th - 7th September 2008 Track length: 7.0km Race 1 Grid Position: 6 Result: 4 Race 2 Grid Position: 13 Result: 12 Spa-Francorchamps, one of the last real natural circuits, is,...
ALREADY SMELT THE CHAMPAGNE
Dates: 5th - 7th September 2008
Track length: 7.0km
Grid Position: 6
Grid Position: 13
Spa-Francorchamps, one of the last real natural circuits, is, with moxie curves such as Eau Rouge and Blanchimont, a genuine driver circuit. It was exactly there that in the first race Philipp could show why he is, and not without reason, the incumbent winner of the Formula BMW World Finals.
"I had already smelt the champagne," he said. Taking off from start position six, he had already moved up to fifth place on entering the first curve, later he overtook another opponent and also passed Adrien Tambay. During his pursuit of the second placed Phillip was already imagining himself on the way to a champagne shower, but his front man started to defend his second place so vehemently that they both lost a lot of ground in the ensuing struggle. Through this Tambay was able to close up from behind and reclaim the third place from Phillip.
But for Phillip, fourth place on his third comeback weekend in the Formula BMW Europe is quite alright. "We have shown that the car is fast and the team has produced good work," said Phillip. "It has fitted well." He also identified the qualifying result, with the start positions 6 and 13, as better than in the last race. With a little more luck on the drying out circuit he could have gained a better start position, also for the second race, in the qualifying. But whilst some other drivers could put in another circuit on the ever faster track during the closing phase, Phillip came a tad too late over the line to be able to drive another timed round.
"In the second race I lost a couple of placings at the start because I decided to go for the inner line," he reported from the Sunday race. After a safety-car phase he came back into the race relatively well and was in eighth place as he was hit from behind. All the same, in the final spurt he was still able to secure the twelfth position.