Maxime Pelletier tackles Valencia finale
Maxime Pelletier will tackle the biggest challenge in his still young career as he enters the Formula BMW World Final at the Circuit de la Communitat in Valencia, Spain. In top mental and physical shape, Pelletier will be among the 35 driver roster looking for top laurels in this finale that joins the best racers from the four BMW series around the world. The 17 year-old who now hails out of Saint-Donat in the Quebec Laurentians is returning to the race facility where he became a BMW USA scholar. He finished fourth in the 2007 14-round standings and will steer again his FB02 HBR Motorsports single seater. Pelletier admits competition will be fierce but has put many wild cards in his hand for the occasion.
"Even if my last racing program goes back a while, claims Pelletier, I feel great and I head into this world finale with a very strong team. We left no stone unreturned. My trainer and nutritionist traveled to Europe and we arrived a week ago in France where my family comes from. I will be working with Peter Argetsinger who also trains the drivers in the US series. My team HBR has put together a German team that carried a complete revision of my car; they know the Valencia track very well and have comprehensive data. We are working on numerous strategies and will be ready for every situation. Here in Spain, the usual communication systems are banned and we will go back to the trackside board. I will team up with Brazilian Ricardo Favoretto: we get along fine and have spent six race weekends together."
A four-day program
Thursday will be devoted to technical procedures and driver meetings. The BMW Sauber F1 team will be on hand with demonstrations from Nick Heidfeld and Timo Glock. Work starts on Friday with a long morning free practice session from 9:00 AM to 1:50 PM, followed by a qualifying session from 2:30 to 3:45 PM. Finally, the top eight drivers will go into a super pole shootout from 4:45 to 5:15 PM.
Saturday, drivers will be spread into six groups and four will take to the track for 75 minutes heat races. Sunday morning the last two groups will do the same and the reds will go out on the World Final at 2:50 PM for a 45 minute-event.
"It's a long weekend and I must be fully concentrated in the car and when I work with the engineers, admits Pelletier. We have to be perfect but the Friday sessions are critical if we want to do well. My goal on Friday would be to take part in the Super Pole session."
Maxime Pelletier just completed his second season in Formula BMW USA in 4th place overall with the Austrian Hillebrand Motorsports team. For 2008, he is considering entering the new Formula BMW Europe series or eventually Formula 3 Euroseries.