MILLROY GETS 2008 UNDER WAY British junior racer, Ollie Millroy made his car racing debut in the opening rounds of the Formula BMW Europe Championship in Barcelona at the weekend. The Claygate teenager drives one of three Fisichella ...
MILLROY GETS 2008 UNDER WAY
British junior racer, Ollie Millroy made his car racing debut in the opening rounds of the Formula BMW Europe Championship in Barcelona at the weekend.
The Claygate teenager drives one of three Fisichella Motorsport International cars in the brand new championship, which supports eight rounds of the Formula 1 and GP2 championships at selected European races.
"It wasn't a good weekend in terms of results, but what a fantastic experience," said Ollie. "The atmosphere was amazing and it was a special feeling racing in front of thousands of spectators at a Grand Prix weekend. I know a lot of these guys from karting and my first ever car race was exactly how I expected it to be, hard racing and very competitive".
The top Italian team made a number of significant improvements to the set-up on Ollie's car over the course of the weekend, which resulted in Ollie having to adjust to the differences and he subsequently could only manage the 22nd quickest time on the Circuit de Catalunya.
"We started the weekend with three new engineers, all of whom worked very hard, nonstop, on the set-up," said Ollie. "We took a bit of a gamble in free practice and qualifying, setting the car up with a lot of aero-grip and no mechanical grip. This gave me more down force and grip in the corners but cost us a lot of time in straight line speed, so I could only qualify 22nd. They altered the setup and greatly improved the car before the first race and I was around half a second quicker than I was in qualifying. By the end of the weekend I was happy with the progress we had made, which we will work on further at my next test at Hockenheim on the 19th/20th May".
In race one on Saturday Ollie was making great strides and improved throughout the opening 13 lap race, getting up to 18th before a collision bent his front left wishbone and put him back to 22nd. However a very good drive with a damaged car got him back up to 16th by the flag, posting consistent lap times half a second quicker than in qualifying.
In the second race on Sunday morning Ollie was 21st but a poor start lost him positions. A superb drive through the field allowed him to make up several places until two-thirds of the way through the race when he was hit by another car, damaging the left rear suspension and engine cover.
With the engine cover looking likely to come off over the remaining four laps, the team signalled him into the pits, bringing his race to a premature conclusion.
"I didn't get a very good start and lost a few places off the line but I was working my way up through the field nicely when I was hit by someone, damaging the car. With only a few laps to go the team told me to pit so as to avoid being black-flagged, which of course ended my race. Although it was a shame not to finish and not score any points I am going away positive, ahead of the next round of the championship at Zolder in Belgium at the end of May".
Ollie's next outing is testing at Hockenheim on 19th/20th May with the next round of the championship, at Zolder on 30th/31st May.