Formula BMW Talent Cup 2011
Cartagena (ES), 23rd November 2010. Eight days after his triumph in the FIA Formula One World Championship, Sebastian Vettel (DE) returned to his roots for one day: On Monday the former Formula BMW driver was present when the decisive scholarship course for the new Formula BMW Talent Cup was held in Cartagena (ES). Vettel gave valuable advice to the young drivers, and closely watched their first endeavours at the wheel of the Formula BMW FB02 racing car. One driver performed especially well in front of the Formula 1 World Champion and BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen, who also visited the scholarship course on Tuesday: Stefan Wackerbauer (DE) won the Formula BMW Talent Cup scholarship and will take part in the 2011 programme free of charge.
"Congratulations to Stefan Wackerbauer for winning the 2011 Formula BMW Talent Cup scholarship" said Mario Theissen. "Stefan performed very well and proved his talent during the three days in Menteblanco and also here in Cartagena. He and the other competitors will gain a lot of experience in the 2011 season. The focus in our new driver development programme is on the individual progress of the young guns. That's why it will be interesting to watch the learning curves of the drivers. Thank you to Sebastian Vettel for taking time to visit the Formula BMW Talent Cup shortly after winning the Formula One title. Being a 2004 Formula BMW Champion, he was able to give the competitors some good advice. We also saw that he still feels perfectly at home at the wheel of the FB02 car."
Vettel, who took to the track for several laps in the FB02, was impressed with the performances of the youngsters, who all share the dream to one day follow in his footsteps. He commented: "For many drivers taking part in the series, Formula BMW is the first step from karting into formula racing. The FB02 is a real racing car and also has everything a driver needs to get to grips with in more advanced racing series. I was Rookie Champion in 2003, and in 2004 took 18 out of 20 wins to finish as overall winner. That will always remain very special to me. Back then we would put a smiley sticker on the car for every win. By the end of the year the nose was almost completely covered in them."
"I have a lot of great memories from those days and I made many friends who I'm still close to today. I was in Cartagena as an ambassador for Formula BMW. It was great fun getting back into my old car and clocking up a few laps without any pressure. The main thing is to enjoy what you are doing. Only then can you give that extra one or two percent that makes all the difference. That's my message to the girls and guys who are hitting the gas in the 2011 Talent Cup."
All 17 drivers that take part in the 2011 Formula BMW talent Cup Scholarship Qualifying are making their first steps in single-seater racing. Experienced instructors gave the young guns, who can be as young as 14-years-old, the necessary theoretical background before they went out on the circuit for the first time. Sessions behind a leading car, practice starts and a free practice session allowed the juniors to familiarise themselves with the FB02 before they completed the decisive laps. Based on what they have seen the applicants do, the jury selected the participants who have qualified for a place in the 2011 Talent Cup.
Stefan Wackerbauer impressed the instructors most in Cartagena. He will take part in the 2011 Formula BMW Talent Cup free of charge. The price for the season to all the remaining candidates who qualified is 100.000 Euro.