Thrills at the top of the table: maiden wins for Wittmann and Breysse. Spa (BE). The Formula BMW Europe race weekend in Spa, Belgium threw up a few surprises for some of the drivers. Esteban Gutierrez (MX/Josef Kaufmann Racing), who had arrived...
Thrills at the top of the table: maiden wins for Wittmann and Breysse.
Spa (BE). The Formula BMW Europe race weekend in Spa, Belgium threw up a few surprises for some of the drivers. Esteban Gutierrez (MX/Josef Kaufmann Racing), who had arrived with a substantial points lead, headed back home without a podium place following a fraught qualifying. German driver Marco Wittmann (DE/Josef Kaufmann Racing) stole the show from his team-mate when he claimed his first win of the season on Saturday, taking the chequered flag ahead of Tiago Geronimi (BR/Eifelland Racing) and Adrien Tambay (FR/Eifelland Racing). In Sunday's race, it was Kevin Breysse (FR/DAMS Team) who crossed the finish line first in front of Tambay and Geronimi.
Round 14 saw Geronimi starting from pole and maintaining his lead on the first lap. An accident involving numerous cars, but from which all drivers emerged unscathed, brought out the safety car at the end of the first lap. The field bunched up closely before the restart and on the fourth lap Geronimi lost the lead to Wittmann initially. Then Tambay managed to pass the three drivers ahead of him in a corner on lap five, but before the lap was over he had to concede the lead to Breysse, who moved into the front slot and did not relinquish it until the end of the race.
Ahead of the season finale in Monza, Italy this coming weekend (12-14.9.) the question as to who will be the ultimate champion is more exciting than ever. In Round 14, Gutierrez started from 20th on the grid and moved up to an eighth-placed finish to reap some important points. With two races to go before the end of the season, there are still 60 points up for grabs as well as two extra points for pole position. Gutierrez currently has 315 points, ahead of Wittmann (283) and Tambay (260). The Rookie championship, the winner of which will receive one of BMW's attractive sponsorship packages for next season, is still being contested by two drivers. Michael Christensen (DK/Double R Racing, 130 points) is currently ahead of David Mengesdorf (DE/Mucke Motorsport, 120).
After 14 out of 16 rounds of Formula BMW Europe, six different winners from four teams have emerged so far: Gutierrez (7 wins, Josef Kaufmann Racing), Tambay (2, Eifelland Racing), Juncadella (2, Eurointernational ), Geronimi (1, Eifelland Racing), Wittmann (1, Josef Kaufmann Racing) and Breysse (1, DAMS).
1st place Kevin Breysse (FR/DAMS Team):
"For me there were just two possibilities in this race: either I make it onto the podium or I risk too much and drop out of the race completely. Of course I'm thrilled about my first win and the first win for the DAMS team, since I had a very fast pace thanks to a perfect car and new tyres. On this circuit I benefited from the extra speed gained by driving in the slipstream. It's the perfect place to get right up close to the car in front and then overtake."
2nd place: Adrien Tambay (FR/Eifelland Racing):
"There really were a lot of fantastic overtaking manoeuvres in this race. You have to plan such attempts very carefully. During the safety car phase, when I was in fourth place, I thought a lot about the chances I had of getting to the front. When I was passing Tiago Geronimi, I knew that as a team-mate he wasn't going to crash me out and I stayed on the outside. There was nothing I could do to fend off Kevin Breysse's overtaking attempt as he braked very late and was taking a big risk."
3rd place: Tiago Geronimi (BR/Eifelland Racing):
"Starting from pole, obviously you want to win the race, but the overall result is fine. Finishing second and third in Spa means I can take away a lot of important points. Now I'm already looking forward to Monza this coming weekend. It's going to be an exciting qualifying on the high-speed track."
BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen:
"It was another particularly thrilling race on this fantastic circuit in Spa. The top positions were being hotly contested, and there were all those other overtaking manoeuvres as well. I'm impressed at how much the young drivers have learnt since the start of the season."
-credit: fbmw eu