UK: Brands Hatch rounds 15, 16 preview

Back to Brands for the Formula BMW UK Championship. Bracknell, 10 August, 2007. The Formula BMW UK Championship heads back to Kent next weekend for the penultimate rounds of the 2007 season where the strongest grid this year will see 21 drivers...

Back to Brands for the Formula BMW UK Championship.

Bracknell, 10 August, 2007. The Formula BMW UK Championship heads back to Kent next weekend for the penultimate rounds of the 2007 season where the strongest grid this year will see 21 drivers hoping to capitalise on the last few months experience.

Two Rookies making a welcome trip to their home track are Henry Surtees (Carlin Motorsport) and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (Fortec Motorsport) who have both overcome the difficult transition to single-seater racing and are both enjoying an impressive first season.

Sixteen-year-old Surtees, son of motorsport legend John, is no stranger to the podium having finished in the top three seven times this year. The culmination of this came in Round 12 at Donington Park where he put in a great drive to claim his maiden Formula BMW victory. The Edenbridge youngster is currently lying fourth in the table and is still in the title hunt with only four races remaining. Before graduating from Ginetta Junior in last year, Surtees won his home race at Brands Hatch and will be looking to make the same impression in front of the same crowd this time around.

Quaife-Hobbs, born in Pembury, now lives in Sundridge, near Sevenoaks. After visiting his first ever race meeting with his granddad at the age of four, the sixteen-year-old has had a passion for motor racing ever since. Like Surtees, Quaife-Hobbs has enjoyed considerable success in car racing before entering Formula BMW. He was crowned T-Car Champion in 2005, making him the youngest ever winner of an MSA-sanctioned championship, aged 14 years 8 months. Last time out at Snetterton, he scored his best result of the season, picking up his first Rookie win and finishing fourth overall.

Another link that binds the Rookies is that they were both selected for BMW scholarships after participating in the Formula BMW UK Championship Licence Course in 2006. Here they were given the chance to demonstrate their driving ability on the famous Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. From the 34 drivers who attended they were two of only five who were selected to receive a scholarship for 2007. 1992 Formula One World Champion and Formula BMW UK Amabassador, Nigel Mansell, was among the judging panel.

At the very top of the table everything has changed with Josef Kral (Double R Racing) heading the Championship for the first time this year after winning at Snetterton in Round 14. Having led the majority of the season so far, and despite his win in Round 13, Marcus Ericsson's (Fortec Motorsport) mehanical problem in Round 14 caused him to drop two places down the leader board with 2006 Rookie Cup Champion Henry Arundel (Fortec Motorsport) remaining in second.

Further down the table a number of new faces will help make up the season highest 21-strong grid, including Northampton-born Michael Moyers, back for his second event of the year with Hyperion Motorsport. After his debut last races at Snetterton with Double R Racing, Romanian youngster Doru Sechelariu has now joined Fortec Motorsport for Brands Hatch. Matt Bell will be back in the second Motaworld Racing car as Rookie Adam Butler makes a welcome return to the grid, joining Tom Gladdis at Team BRD.

With 45 points on offer for a win and only 11 points separating the top three drivers, whoever comes out on top at Brands Hatch will be in a strong position to be crowned Formula BMW UK Champion 2007 at the final event at Knockhill on 2 September.

At Brands Hatch, free practice will be on Friday, 17th August from 10.40 to 11.25 and 15.10 to 15.55. On Saturday (18th August) first qualifying will be from 11.00 to 11.20 and second qualifying from 14.55 to 15.15. The two 24 lap races will be held on Sunday (19th August) at 12.10 and 17.40.

-credit: bmw.uk

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Nigel Mansell , Josef Kral , Henry Arundel , Henry Surtees , Adrian Quaife-Hobbs , Doru Sechelariu , Marcus Ericsson , Tom Gladdis , Michael Moyers , Adam Butler , Matt Bell
Teams Carlin