Formula BMW Europe: Maximum bravery and full throttle at Spa.
Munich, 2nd September 2008. This coming weekend the Formula BMW Europe drivers will line up on the Formula One undercard at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. At 7.004 km, the undulating track is the longest on the junior race series calendar. "Corners like Eau Rouge and Blanchimont have a wonderful ring to them and driving at Spa is just spectacular. It takes some guts to go into blind sections of the track at full throttle," explains French driver Adrien Tambay (Eifelland Racing). Tambay is currently lying third in the Formula BMW Europe overall standings with two race wins (ahead of Daniel Juncadella, ES/Eurointernational, on the same points).
"As there aren't any Formula BMW races in France this year, Spa is a kind of home race for me - and not just from a language point of view," says the son of former F1 driver Patrick Tambay. The 17-year-old's father finished second at the Ardennes circuit exactly 25 years ago in his Ferrari. Tambay junior is looking to emulate this result at the very least, but the leading positions in the highly competitive Formula BMW Europe series are particularly hotly contested this year. Indeed, eight different drivers have already made it onto the podium in 2008. The most frequent visitor to the top step so far this season has been Mexico's Esteban Gutierrez (Josef Kaufmann Racing): the 17-year-old schoolboy has seven race victories to his name at the latest count.
Only one of the field of 28 drivers lining up at Spa - Marco Wittmann - can claim to have finished in the points in every race of the season so far. The Josef Kaufmann Racing driver from near Nuremberg, in the German region of Franconia, has taken strides above all mentally in his second season in Formula BMW: "Yes, I've become stronger. I know what I'm capable of and with success comes confidence," he says. A total of eight podium finishes and a lowest placing of fifth have earned him an impressive haul of points and second place in the overall classification as things stand.
-credit: fbmw eu