EU: Series Silverstone preview

Motor-sport genes and racing fathers. Munich, 1st July 2008. The Formula BMW Europe is an attractive racing series. Not just for drivers, but also for fathers. This weekend (4th -6th July) lots of young drivers with fathers who used to be very...

Motor-sport genes and racing fathers.

Munich, 1st July 2008. The Formula BMW Europe is an attractive racing series. Not just for drivers, but also for fathers. This weekend (4th -6th July) lots of young drivers with fathers who used to be very active in motor sport are lining up on the grid at the British Silverstone circuit. Former Formula 1 drivers Patrick Tambay and Erik Comas decided to enter their sons Adrien and Anthony in the Formula BMW Europe. "However, it's not always easy for us with fathers like this," confides Adrien Tambay, aged 17. "It's true, they have an understanding of the issues, but they're no longer behind the wheel."

Tambay respects his father, who competed in 114 Formula 1 races for various outfits including Ferrari, but he would like to be accepted on his own merits. He is doing well with two victories after four races, and is ranked number two in the overall standings. However, Adrien Tambay is happy to permit reflection on the past. After all, his father competed in his first Formula 1 race in 1977 at Silverstone: "I think that's a good omen. I definitely want to drive onto the podium at Silverstone." Patrick Tambay coordinates his job as French TV commentator so that he can follow his son in all his races.

Initially, Erik Comas was unwilling for his son to go into motor sport. "This year, I'm the only Formula BMW driver who doesn't come from go-karting. I gained my first experience in motorcycling," explains Anthony, aged 17. Although Erik allowed his son to find out about Formula sport, his main focus was on education at school. "I go to a boarding school in Switzerland, and to be perfectly honest it's more like a prison," says Anthony Comas with a laugh. Naturally, he is also well aware that his father has his best interests at heart when he places the main emphasis on his education and gives him tips on vehicle set-up. "But it's still tough going", sighs Comas.

So enthusiasm for motor sport appears to be inherited. Even if the drive is not genetically transmitted, the emotional involvement is passed down. Spanish driver Daniel Juncadella also comes from a motor-sport family. Two of his uncles competed in Formula 1, his father was a Spanish Formula 3 Champion. The racing roots of British driver Thomas Hillsdon are back in Australia: his father was behind the wheel in numerous rallies. The Ecuadorian Juan Cevallos numbers several rally drivers among his family. And William Buller was also following a family member when he developed his enthusiasm for motor sport. Father Alfred Buller owns Rockingham Motor Speedway in Great Britain.

The schedule for Formula BMW Europe in Silverstone comprises free practice (Friday 8.45 to 9.15), qualifying (Friday 12.50-13.10) and two races (round 5 on Saturday 16.30-17.00 and round 6 on Sunday 8.20-8.50).

-credit: fbmw eu

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Series Formula BMW
Drivers Patrick Tambay , Erik Comas , Adrien Tambay , Anthony Comas , Daniel Juncadella , Thomas Hillsdon , Juan Cevallos