Formula BMW Europe Rounds 1 and 2 Barcelona. Formula BMW Europe is ready for the off in Spain. Munich. After four official tests it is now time for the 14 different nationalities represented by the competitors in Formula BMW Europe to take to...
Formula BMW Europe Rounds 1 and 2 Barcelona.
Formula BMW Europe is ready for the off in Spain.
Munich. After four official tests it is now time for the 14 different nationalities represented by the competitors in Formula BMW Europe to take to the track to start their racing season. The first time they will truly pit themselves against each other will be in Barcelona on the 7/8/9 May.
The eyes of the Formula One world will be on the drivers as they support the Spanish Grand Prix, but the one person they will want to impress is BMW Motorsport Director, Mario Theissen, who will be there to watch them. Theissen has always followed the progress of the competitors in the series and beyond, and his comment as he prepares to chart the progress of the drivers in year three of the series was: "BMW is proud of its role in the education and training of the future stars in motorsport. Since the inception of Formula BMW we have seen some talented drivers progress to the higher echelons of motorsport, and this year we have seven graduates competing in Formula One, along with several others as reserve drivers. Formula BMW Europe has proved a very competitive formula and, if the results of the pre-season test sessions are anything to go by, the fans should see some close, exciting racing. The drivers could not have chosen a higher profile stage for their first steps on the single-seater ladder, and I am personally looking forward to being at Barcelona to witness the first racing laps of the class of 2010."
The drivers who will probably feel the most pressure in Barcelona are the two Spaniards in the series. Javier Tarancon (DAMS), who comes from the city, is in his second year in the series, while BMW Junior driver, Carlos Sainz (Eurointernational) from Madrid, is the youngest driver as he will not be 16 until 1 September. Looking ahead to this race Tarancon said: "It is nice to do the first race of the season at home, and especially at the Barcelona track which is one of my favourites. This is my second year and I feel very positive. I am a lot better prepared in all areas, and have much more confidence than last year that I shall be able to do my best. We had some troubles in the official tests, but fortunately we found what the problems were and now we are ready to be on the pace at the top of the classification."
Not only will the drivers registered for Formula BMW Europe be racing over eight weekends, but will also have the chance to take part as guest drivers in Formula BMW Pacific. Five drivers from Europe, Hannes van Asseldonk (NL/Josef Kaufmann Racing), Fahmi Ilyas (MY/DAMS), Daniil Kvyat (RU/Eurointernational), Michael Lewis (US/Eurointernational) and Sainz have already made the long trek to Malaysia and more trips are planned.
The drivers still have two more official tests planned in Budapest on 25/26 May and Hockenheim on 1/2 June, and this week were able to go to a general test at Spa-Francorchamps after the official test due for earlier April had to be cancelled. In the first test in Monza Kvyat was fastest, then it was Barcelona where Robin Frijns (NL/Josef Kaufmann Racing) was on the top of the timesheets, in Silverstone it was Sainz, and then Frijns again in Zandvoort.
The Circuit de Catalunya is the traditional venue for the first European Grand Prix of the season, and this year hosts its 20th Formula One race. It is a short drive from the city of Barcelona, which is just 20 kilometres to the south. The Formula BMW Europe timetable includes two 13 lap races round the 4.655 kilometre long track. However, the cars will take to the circuit for the first time on Friday for Free Practice from 08.50 to 09.15, followed by Qualifying from 12.50 to 13.15. In a change from last year, Race 1 will be in the morning on Saturday at 09.45. Again Race 2 will be early on Sunday and will start at 08.30. All times are local CET.