Rob Bunker is psyched for his first street race, challenging the streets of Denver in Formula BMW USA races on Aug. 13 and 14. Although many drivers are intimidated by its concrete walls, Bunker, 16, thinks it will be fun to race on the 1.647-mile temporary street circuit.
"I've been told so many times by my entire team that I'm going to do well there, I believe it," he said. "The street course should favor my driving technique. There are lots of places to pass, which is something I'm very assertive on, and a lot of slow corners. I do well in the slow-speed sections of most tracks; this is like one big slow-speed section."
Bunker, of Bridgewater, N.J., acknowledged the mile-high Denver altitude will affect the performance of his No. 18 AIM Autosport Formula BMW FB2, but he isn't alone. "Normally, that's not very good for the engine, but everyone's going to have the same handicap," he said, adding the open-wheel car's agility will be an asset on the tight street configuration.
The AIM Autosport team also has a local advantage -- Bunker's Speed Secrets coach, Bob Perona, lives in Denver. With Perone's knowledge of the track, mental imagery techniques and a solid strategy, Bunker is ready to race.
"I normally go for a very agressive setup; I don't go for a soft setup at all," he noted. "We're placing well in races, and the people in the top five in points are the people I've been racing with, so we're right there."