Campbell fastest at Road Atlanta Gelles Racing sets the pace in Official BMW testing Front Royal, March 30, 2006. -- Gelles Racing rolled into Road Atlanta for the first official test days of the 2006 Formula BMW USA season and clearly ...
Campbell fastest at Road Atlanta
Gelles Racing sets the pace in Official BMW testing
Front Royal, March 30, 2006. -- Gelles Racing rolled into Road Atlanta for the first official test days of the 2006 Formula BMW USA season and clearly demonstrated it would be the team to lead the championship. With six cars accumulating 2,075 miles over the sessions and its drivers topping the charts, the best word that can summarize the team performances was READY! The cars were in their full season livery, the engineers on top of their setups and the drivers on top of their craft. Finally, in a series where 10 or 15 cars are inside the same second, it was again Canadian Ryan Campbell who earned the best time, a new track record, with almost 2/10th of a second clear from all followers.
"Some were wondering if a six-car team could be as competitive, smiled team owner Bob Gelles. And we obviously proved our point. We had four of our drivers in the Top Ten and for that I have to give credit to our crew and engineers headed by senior engineer Jurgen Schmitt. I have every reason to believe our team will be the strongest in 2006. Four of our drivers are part of the BMW USA educational & coaching program and will develop their skills even more. Being part of such a fine series gives our drivers and staff the desire to push our limits."
Ryan was again the talk of the paddock. Not only did he shatter the track record, but he ran consistently quick laps. ''I'm happy for setting the record, said the young man from Alberta, but, more than that, working with the other drivers on my team and our engineers makes me as happy. I ran so many quick laps and felt in perfect control with my Western Union machine. What a car!''
''Look out for the young Colombian, added Gelles. He paced himself easily in the mid1:26's and ran clockwork lap after lap on worn or fresh tires. For a 16-year old that has never driven a single seater before, one can wonder how far he will go.'' What is amazing from Saavedra is the poise he demonstrates and the relationship he nurses with his crew.
Maintaining Top Ten performances steadily, Pelletier was the strongest Junior rookie and ran as high as 3rd and 5th in two of the six sessions. The French Canadian is a hard worker: ''My goal is to understand the intricacies of setting up my race car. I listen to my team, I work the data, and then I just put my head down and try to get the best out of the track. I'm always pleased with my session because I learn more each time.''
The returning Canadian is admittedly fighting himself when he takes his FB02 BMW of Sterling car to the track: ""I know I can push harder and be quicker. I still have reservations to overcome from last year but my engineers are giving me a fast car. Predictability is the important feature that will allow me to be a front runner. I will be on the podium this year for sure"! Adrien ran as high as 5th position Tuesday afternoon, with three other Gelles drivers just ahead of him!
Rusty is more appropriate for Zartarian performances. ''I've been away from a race car for a while, he admits, and I have to get comfortable again. I had to run-in my new equipment but I kept improving. Our team is so strong that I benefit from my teammates and it won't be long before I match their times. "
The Jamaican champion experienced some electrical problems on Monday and the Formula BMW USA tech team had to fix the problem. Afterwards, he accumulated 325 miles around the winding Braselton circuit and improved his skills. ''I know I have a lot to learn, said Jackson, but I lower my times in every session. Everybody is helping, I'm gaining confidence and learning my car.''