GOOD DEBUT FOR THOMAS HYLKEMA IN GERMAN FORMULA BMW CHAMPIONSHIP! NORISRING, 24 JUNE 2007 - Thomas Hylkema has kick-started his career in the German Formula BMW championship. On the Norisring street circuit in Germany the rookie ended his first...
GOOD DEBUT FOR THOMAS HYLKEMA IN GERMAN FORMULA BMW CHAMPIONSHIP!
NORISRING, 24 JUNE 2007 - Thomas Hylkema has kick-started his career in the German Formula BMW championship. On the Norisring street circuit in Germany the rookie ended his first race under extremely difficult conditions in a decent fourteenth position. In the second race Hylkema upped the pace and the young Dutchman finished in an excellent tenth place. A great start for the fast learning driver of the Eifelland Racing team. In the final race Hylkema was also the best classified Dutchman!
FREE PRACTICE + QUALIFYING:
In the first free practice on Friday morning the newcomer to the German Formula BMW championship got used to the 2.300 meter long track. After warming up the car gently for a while Hylkema went for it on a quick run and managed to make a huge improvement in his lap time. At the end of the 35 minutes long session he was in the midfield of all 23 drivers. Hylkema had a lot of confidence going into qualifying. As the rain was pouring down minutes before the qualifying session was about to start, Hylkema started the session on wet tyres. The session went well for the rookie and once again he found himself in the midfield. When it stopped raining most drivers went from wets to slick tyres. Hylkema was also given the sign to come in and change tyres, but because of the hectic situation on the track he missed the pit board completely. Only a couple of laps later Hylkema came in to switch to dry weather tyres. There was not enough time left however to set a fast time. In this session he finished in twentieth place. In the second session the 18-year old tried to set a fast time on the drying track. His plans succeeded as after five minutes the Eifelland Racing driver set the fastest lap. During the remainder of the session he tried to keep up the pace, but as the weather conditions kept changing he was not able to keep up with the top drivers. At the end of the session he was again twentieth.
RACE 01 + 02:
The first race was driven on Saturday. Hylkema had a good start and tried to find his way forward via the outside of the track. He managed to avoid a spinning car and was getting further and further up the field in the early phase of the race. However the rain returned to the Norisring and the safety car was deployed. The race organisation decided to show the red flag and gave the drivers the opportunity to put wets on their car. Hylkema thought the safety car would stay out for two laps, but it went in after just one lap. As a result Hylkema lost ground to the drivers in front of him. Hylkema then lost some more positions after missing his braking point at the hairpin. After almost 31 minutes the young talented driver crossed the line to finish his debut race in fourteenth place.
Starting in twentieth place again in race two, Hylkema got away well in the chaotic opening lap and was able to gain some positions in the first lap. Not much later Hylkema was behind fellow Dutchman Luuk Glansdorp, who he outbraked just before the chicane. The next 'victim' was Tiago Geronimi. Hylkema tried to overtake his team mate on the straight, but the Brazilian pushed Hylkema close to the wall. The duo collided, which resulted in a heavily damaged front wing for Hylkema. With a modified nose Hylkema was able to rejoin the race. After Geronimi got involved in another accident Hylkema was able to automatically gain a position. The number 30 driver was getting into the rhythm and managed to pass Mathijs Harkema two laps before the end. He ended the race in tenth place, just ahead of his compatriot. The tenth place also meant he was the best Dutchman in race two!
THOMAS HYLKEMA: "It is really amazing to start my autoracing career like this! In my debut race I have seen all aspects of racing in one weekend. In qualifying I was not there yet. Because of the ever changing conditions we could not get the maximum result out of the car, so I had to start both races from twentieth place. Especially in the second race I was doing consistent fast laps and I was able to overtake other drivers by myself. With a fifth fastest lap of the race I did not yield to the best of the field. With a fourteenth and a tenth place I really exceeded my targets. Everything is new for me and I have learned a lot this weekend. I will bring this experience to the next weekend at the Nürburgring (July 20-22)."