UK: Brands Hatch round one preview

New kids on the block as Formula BMW gets back on track. Bracknell, 27 March, 2007. The 2007 Formula BMW UK Championship kicks off at Brands Hatch this weekend, with 13 new faces on the 18-strong grid ready to battle it out over 18 races around...

New kids on the block as Formula BMW gets back on track.

Bracknell, 27 March, 2007. The 2007 Formula BMW UK Championship kicks off at Brands Hatch this weekend, with 13 new faces on the 18-strong grid ready to battle it out over 18 races around the UK in 2007.

2006 Rookie Cup Champion, Henry Arundel (Fortec Motorsport), returns for his second year in the series with a new found confidence and hunger for victory as he hopes to become the first driver ever to win back-to-back UK Rookie and Championship titles.

Former Formula BMW Germany racer, Josef Kral is also certainly one to watch. Kral enters the UK series with new team Double R Racing and has already shown his potential finishing quickest on both days during official testing at Brands Hatch earlier this month.

Sixteen-year-old Henry Surtees (Carlin Motorsport) also has much to prove. The son of motorsport legend John Surtees, who remains the only person to have won world titles on both two and four wheels, showed early promise getting straight on the pace during pre season testing. Swedish Rookie Marcus Ericsson (Fortec Motorsport) and Columbian newcomer Carlos Huertas (Double R Racing) may also cause upset this year in their first seasons out of karting. Meanwhile, returning drivers Jonathan Legris (Motaworld Racing) and Daniel McKenzie (Fortec Motorsport) along with 2004 UK Formula Ford Champion Valle Makela (Nexa Racing) will be hoping that their experience will give them the edge on their quest for glory.

1992 Formula One World Champion Nigel Mansell has reaffirmed his role as Ambassador to the Formula BMW UK Championship and will be on hand to impart invaluable knowledge to the young drivers throughout the season. Schedule changes see Rockingham return to the calendar for the first time since 2005 offering the new crop of drivers a unique challenge with the twisty infield and banked oval sections, which are unlike any other track they will visit this year. A revised points system will now see race winners receive 45 points (formerly 20), descending down the order to 20th position. The separate Rookie scoring system has also been removed giving new drivers more to gain by challenging the championship front-runners.

New partners for the year include the UK's premier motorsport website, Crash.Net, who have launched an exciting new dedicated Formula BMW UK Championship channel on their site which will feature news reports and radio interview podcasts. Supaguard, a professionally prepared paint protection product for new and used vehicles, are extending their partnership with BMW to become the premium sponsor of the championship, following their previous sponsorship of BMW Team UK in the World Touring Car Championship, and their continued support of BMW's reigning double WTCC Champion, Andy Priaulx.

The season gets underway this weekend with 18 drivers primed for action, all bidding to be crowned the 2007 Formula BMW UK Champion. As well as the prestigious title, the winner will be offered a test drive in a Formula 3 car with Double R Racing.

At Brands Hatch, free practice will be on Friday, 30th March from 09.50 to 10.35 and 14.20 to 15.10. On Saturday (31st March) first qualifying will be from 10.20 to 10.40 and second qualifying from 14.55 to 15.15. The two 24 lap races will be held on Sunday (1st April) at 10.40 and 14.15.

-credit: bmw.uk

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Nigel Mansell , Valle Makela , John Surtees , Jonathan Legris , Josef Kral , Henry Arundel , Daniel McKenzie , Carlos Huertas , Henry Surtees , Marcus Ericsson
Teams Carlin