Lights to flag victory for Esteban Gutierrez. Valencia (ES), 24th August 2008. Following his second-placed finish of the previous day, championship leader Esteban Gutierrez (Josef Kaufmann Racing) prevailed against the other 27 Formula BMW...
Lights to flag victory for Esteban Gutierrez.
Valencia (ES), 24th August 2008. Following his second-placed finish of the previous day, championship leader Esteban Gutierrez (Josef Kaufmann Racing) prevailed against the other 27 Formula BMW Europe starters in Valencia. The 17-year-old Mexican beat his team-mate Marco Wittmann (DE/Josef Kaufmann Racing) and Kevin Breysse (FR/DAMS Team) by a clear distance. An accident involving Kyle Mitchell (ZA/AM-Holzer Rennsport) meant the race had to be stopped on lap eight out of ten. According to the regulations, the race results were based on the positions on lap eight as the race leader had already begun his ninth lap.
In the same mould as Saturday's race, when Tiago Geronimi (BR/Eifelland Racing) pipped Gutierrez and Wittmann to the post to take his debut win, Sunday's event was bristling with battles for position. At the start Gutierrez defended his pole position against Breysse, while Wittmann and Breysse spent many laps jostling for second place. On lap eight Wittmann managed to get past the French driver. At the back of the midfield, too, there were plenty of two-, three- and four-way battles going on. When Mitchell touched the wall on lap eight and his wrecked car blocked the course, the race had to be halted. The South African was shaken but uninjured and was able to get out of his car without assistance.
In the overall rankings after 12 out of 16 races, Gutierrez leads with seven wins and 305 points ahead of Wittmann (238). Behind them, Daniel Juncadella (ES/Eurointernational) and Adrien Tambay (FR/Eifelland Racing) are level-pegging with a tally of 216 each. With four races to go in Spa (5 - 7.9.) and Monza (12-14.9.), Michael Christensen (DK/Double R Racing, 110) leads the rookie standings ahead of David Mengesdorf (DE/Mucke Motorsport, 104).
1st place Esteban Gutierrez (MX/Josef Kaufmann Racing):
"Before the race the team had decided I should have new brake pads, which is why I was struggling a bit with the brake balance on the first two laps. The struggle for positions behind me meant I could extend my lead. I just wanted to take home a clean race and not be thinking about ultimately winning the season, although I'm edging closer to that target."
2nd place Marco Wittmann (DE/Josef Kaufmann Racing):
"I achieved my overall target for this weekend: I'm now second in the standings. I'm not happy with the ending of Sunday's race. It was difficult to pass Kevin. On the straights he was faster than me, but I knew that I would get the better of him in the corners."
3rd place Kevin Breysse (FR/DAMS Team):
"All in all I'm pleased with this successful weekend for me and my team. On the front row of the grid twice, including one pole, and a podium place on Sunday isn't bad at all. I didn't spray too much of my champagne on the podium to make sure every member of the team gets a sip."
BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen:
"For the young drivers here in Valencia, this was their first race with solid walls alongside. Some of them underestimated the absence of large run-off zones, but it's an experience the drivers had to go through. I'm basically very pleased that we have a strong field of participants this year. There's a lot of highly promising talent among them."
-credit: fbmw eu