Sensational battle for the lead: Geronimi is the winner.
Valencia (ES), 23rd August 2008. Tiago Geronimi (Eifelland Racing) of Brazil took the flag in a spectacular race on Valencia's street circuit. The 11th round of Formula BMW Europe was dominated by nail-biting jostling for position from the first to the final lap. The leader of the rankings, Esteban Gutierrez (MX/Josef Kaufmann Racing), kept Geronimi under pressure throughout the race, but the Brazilian ultimately claimed victory ahead of Gutierrez and Marco Wittmann (DE/Josef Kaufmann Racing).
The first European street race in the history of Formula BMW took its toll on the drivers, with just 19 out of 28 starters making it to the finish. But the battle for the top positions in the rankings made for plenty of excitement. Daniel Juncadella (ES/Eurointernational) had to retire from the race, as did Adrien Tambay (FR/Eifelland Racing). Gleaning the biggest benefit from this was Wittmann, who managed to advance from fourth to second in the points. After the 11th of 16 races, Gutierrez leads with 274 points, ahead of Wittmann (214), Juncadella (200) and Tambay (198).
At the start Geronimi capitalised on the squabbling for positions by surging from fourth place to the front of the field. Polesetter Kevin Breysse (FR/DAMS Team) dropped back to fifth place at the start, and on lap nine was forced to retire after colliding with third-placed Facu Regalia (ES/Eurointernational). On the first lap, Juncadella's car ended up in such an unfortunate position on the track after an accident that the safety car was immediately called out. Right to the very end of the race there were fierce battles in particular for the top positions. On lap nine Geronimi briefly ceded his lead to Gutierrez, but fought his way to his first victory in Formula BMW Europe after a mistake by Gutierrez on lap ten. Another Eifelland driver from Brazil - Henrique Martins - was best rookie after finishing fifth.
1st place Tiago Geronimi (BR/Eifelland Racing): "I'm over the moon about my first win. While Esteban was constantly breathing down my neck, I just tried to stay cool, make no mistakes and keep on the track. After the press conference the first thing I have to do is ring my father Luigi in Brazil. He will be incredibly happy about my win."
2nd place Esteban Gutierrez (MX/Josef Kaufmann Racing): "That was a race I'll never forget: ten laps of full-on adrenalin! It was a tough battle for the lead with lots of overtaking. I was constantly looking for passing opportunities. Over the radio I head that Juncadella and Tambay had retired, but I pushed that aside in my mind. I was just determined to win. In the end, what was crucial was that I was able to increase my overall lead."
3rd place Marco Wittmann (DE/Josef Kaufmann Racing): "At the start Kevin instantly took the battle line, which meant that despite my better start I couldn't get past him. It was Tiago in fourth place who was laughing all the way to the front. As on Friday, I was struggling with my brakes all the time. I'm sure that was evident from the outside. Because Daniel and Adrien didn't finish, I'm now in second place. But it's certainly not a case of schadenfreude. I would rather beat them out on the track."
-credit: fbmw eu