USA: Road Atlanta: Rob Bunker preview

Rob Bunker wrote the master plan for his final two races in the 2005 Formula BMW USA Championship. After racing under the careful watch of his Speed Secrets coaches Ross Bentley and Bob Perona this season, Bunker was given the chance to craft his...

Rob Bunker wrote the master plan for his final two races in the 2005 Formula BMW USA Championship. After racing under the careful watch of his Speed Secrets coaches Ross Bentley and Bob Perona this season, Bunker was given the chance to craft his own plan for the Sept. 29 and 30 races at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. The Bridgewater, N.J., teen settled on a mix of new and proven strategies.

"I wrote my own coaching plan for this race. That was a lot of fun! I want to experiment a bit, but I stayed within the limits of what they taught me," Bunker said. "It's the last race of the season, so it's time to shine. We tried to think of a formula, but it's really simple -- if we want to win, I have to put the car on the limit and drive the wheels off it."

Bunker is familiar with the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta road course, which he considers his home track. Although it's a challenging circuit with fast turns and elevation changes, Bunker thinks it will suit his No. 18 AIM Autosport Formula BMW FB2 car. "There's not too much rotation with the car because the corners are long and sweepy," he noted.

The Formula BMW cars will share the race week with American Le Mans Series cars as they prepare for the 10-hour or 1000-mile Petit Le Mans race on Oct. 1. When he's not on track, Bunker will be avidly watching the ALMS prototype cars he hopes to drive later in his career.

"All ALMS events are my favorites," he said. "There are a lot of different cars and a wide variety to watch. It's good to be in that company."

futures

Bunker tested his skill in a Formula Mazda car last weekend. Driving the higher-powered car for the first time, he consistently turned laps as fast as the car's full-season driver. The results bode well for a future step up into the Star Mazda Championship.

-sp-

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Ross Bentley