Kevin Breysse and Esteban Gutierrez take pole positions.
Valencia (ES), 22nd August 2008. During qualifying for the first European street race in the history of Formula BMW, Kevin Breysse (FR/DAMS Team) delivered the best performance of all 28 drivers to take his first pole of the season in round 11 of Formula BMW Europe. On the 5.44 km circuit in Valencia, with temperatures around 30 degrees Celsius, Marco Wittmann (DE/Josef Kaufmann Racing) claimed second place on the grid and Esteban Gutierrez (MX/Josef Kaufmann Racing) third.
The grid line-up for the 12th race of the season is determined by the second- fastest lap in qualifying. That puts Gutierrez at the front on Sunday, followed by Breysse in second position and Wittmann (P3).
It was only thanks to the sterling efforts of his team Josef Kaufmann Racing that overall leader Gutierrez was able to take part in qualifying at all. After he slammed into a wall during the morning's free practice, the team had the car up and running again in a matter of hours.
The unluckiest driver of the morning was Spaniard Ramon Pineiro, who only managed one lap in free practice due to a technical problem, and thus went into qualifying with practically no experience of the circuit. He came away with positions 21 and 24 on the grid.
The 11th round of the season will take place on Saturday from 17.30 to 18 hrs and the 12th on Sunday from 9.20 to 9.50 hrs.
Kevin Breysse (FR, DAMS Team).
Round 11: pole position, round 12: 2nd on the grid. "What I really like is the fact that nobody knew the circuit, so it was an absolutely level playing field for everyone. It shows you the people who are quick on the uptake and can think themselves into the circuit. Before qualifying, my engineer said to me: 'Aim for pole!' That's exactly what I did. Now I'm hoping for a good race. Before the weekend my best starting position was seventh. Naturally I'm really glad to be able to start right from the front."
Marco Wittmann (DE/Josef Kaufmann Racing).
Round 11: 2nd on the grid, round 12: 3rd on the grid. "From lap four on I was having serious problems with the brakes, which was definitely due to the incredible heat here. As a result I had to brake earlier on the track, and that cost me time, of course. I adapted my driving style accordingly, and then on the final lap everything fell into place again and I managed to forge ahead to secure second place on the grid for the race on Saturday."
Esteban Gutierrez (MX/Josef Kaufmann Racing)
Round 11: 3rd on the grid, round 12: pole position. "After my accident in free practice, I held back a bit during qualifying. A street circuit demands extreme concentration of any driver. When you pass so close to a wall it really gets the adrenalin up. What is a real support to me is my strong team-mate. On the one hand it puts you under pressure, but on the other hand we benefit a lot from our shared data analysis. Marco and I naturally compare ourselves to each other and that gives us both a push."