USA: Rob Bunker Montreal preview

Rob Bunker's formal education slows as school breaks for the summer, but his race education intensifies. The Bridgewater, N.J., teen continues to fine-tune his performance with lessons learned on track. Bunker returns to le Circuit Gilles ...

Rob Bunker's formal education slows as school breaks for the summer, but his race education intensifies. The Bridgewater, N.J., teen continues to fine-tune his performance with lessons learned on track.

Bunker returns to le Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal this week, driving the No. 18 AIM Autosport Pro Formula Mazda in the June 24 Star Mazda Championship race. With limited practice time on the 4.36-kilometre (2.71-mile) road course and the starting grid set by point standings, he knows every moment on track will be critical.

"We're coming in knowing that this is going to be a challenging weekend, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will be difficult. We without a doubt have the skill and potential to do well; all we have to do is put everything together," he said.

"We already know where we start, so that's good and bad news. We don't start from a good position, but nevertheless I think we can probably make it to the front of the pack because at the start of every race, we've progressed tenfold in the first lap."

Bunker's trademark charge will stand him in good stead as he starts 18th of 42 entries. He is confident of his ability to pick up the pace quickly; now the goal is to extend it.

"When we look at the data, I get up to speed extremely quickly -- in two laps, I'm at a peak," he noted. "But I hit a wall and I never quite get past it. What we're going to work on is trying to get up to speed quickly, get in a mental state where I can push the envelope just a little bit harder and hopefully maximize the time we have on track. Between that and trying to make changes to the car, we've got our hands full.

"But we're definitely coming in with the right mindset. Everyone's prepared, everyone's ready. We're going to do our best."

-sp-

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Series Formula BMW
Drivers Gilles Villeneuve