International talent for an international series: at the scholarship qualifying in Valencia, four junior drivers from four countries made the grade for an exclusive sponsorship programme that is part of Formula BMW Europe. Michael Christensen (17)...
International talent for an international series: at the scholarship qualifying in Valencia, four junior drivers from four countries made the grade for an exclusive sponsorship programme that is part of Formula BMW Europe. Michael Christensen (17) of Denmark, David Mengesdorf (17) from Germany, British driver Oliver Millroy (17) and Joel Volluz (16) from the Swiss canton of Valais were the foursome who came out on top amid a field of 20 participants from ten nations. It means they will enter the 2008 season as "Formula BMW Europe Juniors". If Frenchman Adrien Tambay (16) signs up for Formula BMW Europe, he will also secure his place in the Junior support programme by virtue of winning this year's Formula BMW Germany Rookie Cup. Marcus Ericsson (17), who claimed the rookie as well as the overall title in Britain, will not be competing in Formula BMW Europe: following his success in the junior series he has set his sights on a higher racing class.
Each of the five drivers will be given 75,000 euros and granted free participation in a special Education and Coaching Programme, provided they take part in next season's Formula BMW Europe. As well as providing them with financial backing, BMW will ensure that the promising young drivers benefit from the specialised knowledge and experience of select experts. BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen underlined the importance of supporting young racing talent: "Tuition in fitness, driving technique and tactics, chassis set-up and vehicle dynamics, sponsoring and media relations offers our BMW juniors a foundation on which they can build up their future career. A close coupling with the BMW Sauber F1 Team supports this schooling for the life of a racing driver."
The four best drivers from the scholarship qualifying and the most successful rookie of Formula BMW Germany 2007 will take on a pioneering role as Formula BMW Europe embarks on its debut season in 2008. The new series is a fusion of Formula BMW Germany and Formula BMW UK. Seven out of the eight race weekends will form part of the Formula One support programme. The provisional race calendar has scheduled the 2008 season opener for 27th April in Barcelona. Other classics such as the Silverstone, Hockenheim, Spa-Francorchamps and Monza Grands Prix will also feature in the calendar. Following pre-registration, 13 teams are already confirmed, each of which will field three cars - a mark of the lively interest in Formula BMW Europe, which offers prize money to the tune of 100,000 euros. Plenty of incentive then to take part. The Formula BMW Juniors can look forward to a rather special and highly instructive racing season.