EU: Series Spa preview

Spa-Francorchamps Gets Thumbs Up From Drivers. Munich. Spa-Francorchamps is one of those circuits that drivers just love so it should come as no surprise 13 of the drivers who will be racing there this weekend in Formula BMW Europe cite it as ...

Spa-Francorchamps Gets Thumbs Up From Drivers.

Munich. Spa-Francorchamps is one of those circuits that drivers just love so it should come as no surprise 13 of the drivers who will be racing there this weekend in Formula BMW Europe cite it as their favourite track. However, they also know it can be a challenge with totally unpredictable weather one of the hazards in the Ardennes region of Belgium.

Last year it was a wet/dry situation for qualifying and those who won the tyre gamble came out on top, with the teams claiming the poles being Josef Kaufmann Racing and Eifelland Racing. With no teams or drivers originating from Belgium it was just down to their good reading of the conditions rather than local knowledge. However, this is not the only challenge facing the teams and drivers, as with only a week between the races in Spain and Belgium it will be a mad dash to Spa-Francorchamps to prepare the cars for this weekend.

Felipe Nasr (BR/Eurointernational) heads to the penultimate race weekend of the season leading the championship, and he is one of the drivers who went there for the first time at the pre-season test and immediately put it at the top of his favourite list. Jim Pla (FR/DAMS) is another devotee and he had the thrill of racing there last year and finishing fourth in race two. "It is a very nice, very fast track. Last year I had my best finish of the year there so feel confident for this year and really want to win. It is so different to the other tracks as we go up and down hill and it is my favourite. I have to admit that I think Eau Rouge for us is too easy as we drive it flat out! I live in Montpelier so it is a long way away but I am used to the hills," he said.

British driver, Rupert Svendsen-Cook (Ra ikkonen Robertson Racing) agrees about the track saying: "Spa is my favourite circuit as, unlike a lot of the modern day grand prix circuits, it has got a lot of character and history. Racing there is something special. Eau Rouge may not be such a great challenge in Formula BMW as in a much faster car, but still the first time I drove through it was amazing. Also when I went there last year for our first official test and I saw it in real life I could not believe how steep the inclines are. It is good to have a really long lap which is enjoyable to drive as the track flows so you really get into a rhythm."

The track is the longest on the Formula BMW Europe calendar at 7.004 kilometres and, including this year, has been the home of 41 Belgium Grands Prix. It was 1922 when the first car race was held there and since then it has been radically changed and shortened to what it is today. However, that has

not taken away its special characteristics and Eau Rouge is still one of the most exciting places to watch cars racing.

Again Fisichella Motorsport SPA will not be at the race, but Ollie Millroy will make a return to the series with Ra ikkonen Robertson Racing, having missed out on the last three race meetings. Meanwhile Romania's Doru Sechelariu has moved from Motaworld Racing Europe Ltd to Eifelland Racing.

As usual free practice is on Friday from 08.50 to 09.15 and qualifying from 12.50 to 13.15. However, there will then be a change in the regular time slot on Saturday as the first of the two eight lap races will be early in the morning and not late in the afternoon. Race two will then be in its traditional slot on Sunday morning a 09.15.

-credit: fbmw eu

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Doru Sechelariu , Rupert Svendsen-Cook , Ollie Millroy , Felipe Nasr
Teams DAMS