EU: Series Barcelona preview

Formula One beckons: the new Formula BMW Europe marks its season debut at the Spanish Grand Prix. Munich. Helmets are polished, racing overalls freshly laundered - all ready for the start in four days' time. 30 drivers will be contesting the ...

Formula One beckons: the new Formula BMW Europe marks its season debut at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Munich. Helmets are polished, racing overalls freshly laundered - all ready for the start in four days' time. 30 drivers will be contesting the first race of the newly created Formula BMW Europe in Barcelona this Saturday. The junior series, which is open to drivers from the age of 15, will be staged on the undercard of Formula One on seven weekends and once at the 45th Anniversary Race at Zolder in Belgium.

Its close ties with Formula One can be found right across the starting grid of this race series for aspiring youngsters - sometimes directly, sometimes more subtly. "I'm really pleased to be able to be racing again at last," says 17-year-old Adrien Tambay (France/Eifelland Racing), who won the best rookie title in Formula BMW Germany last year. For the son of ex-Formula One driver Patrick Tambay, start number 27 plays an important role. "For my family 27 is a lucky number. My father raced for Ferrari with this number." This belief in the power of numbers extends to Adrien's website and his racing helmet. Even his father's mobile number includes this double digit more than once.

For British driver Rupert Svendsen-Cook, seven is the magic number: "My birthday is on the 17th of September, the same as Damon Hill and Stirling Moss. Both of them chose seven as their start number, and that's what influenced me when I was karting," explains the 17-year-old. But he is having to readjust for Formula BMW Europe, where his car bears the number four. Spaniard Ramon Pineiro has no time for superstition: "My favourite number doesn't play a major role in Barcelona since my first race on this circuit is the fulfilment of a dream. Two years ago I won two F1 tickets in a competition, and now I'm driving in the support programme myself. How cool is that?"

One can safely describe the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix as Pineiro's home race, as he lives only around 15 minutes' drive from the circuit. The 16-year-old will be hitting the track as a rookie without any experience of formula cars, but he is seen as very talented, which is why he is in the group of junior drivers sponsored by BMW. In the local hero stakes he will be up against Daniel Juncadella, who also hails from Barcelona. The third Spaniard on this international grid of drivers lining up at the weekend is Facundo Regalia. Born in Argentina, he has dual nationality, currently lives in Madrid and has a Spanish licence.

For the drivers, the race weekend in Barcelona comprises Free Practice (Friday 8.45-9.15 hrs), Qualifying (Friday 12.50-13.10 hrs) and two Races (Race 1 on Saturday 17.45-18.15 hrs, Race 2 on Sunday 9.15-9.45 hrs). <pre> List of drivers competing in Formula BMW Europe

No. Name Nationality Team 2 Carlos Huertas Colombian Double R Racing 3 Michael Christensen* Danish Double R Racing 4 Rupert Svendsen-Cook British Double R Racing 5 Marco Wittmann German Josef Kaufmann Racing 6 Kazeem Manzur* British Josef Kaufmann Racing 7 Esteban Gutierrez Mexican Josef Kaufmann Racing 8 Thomas Hillsdon* British Motaworld Racing 9 Mathijs Harkema Dutch Motaworld Racing 10 Asad Rahman* UAE Motaworld Racing 11 Daniel Juncadella Spanish Eurointernational 12 Facundo Regalia* Spanish Eurointernational 14 Giancarlo Vilarinho Brazilian Eurointernational 15 Doru Sechelariu Romanian Fortec Motorsport 16 William Buller British Fortec Motorsport 17 Ramon Pineiro* Spanish Fortec Motorsport 18 Pedro Bianchini Brazilian FMS International 19 Mihai Marinescu Romanian FMS International 20 Ollie Millroy* British FMS International 21 Juan Cevallos Ecuadorian Mucke Motorsport 22 David Mengesdorf* German Mucke Motorsport 23 Anthony Comas French Mucke Motorsport 24 Bastian Graber German AM-Holzer Rennsport 25 Jazeman Jaafar Malaysian AM-Holzer Rennsport 26 Melvin Moh Malaysian AM-Holzer Rennsport 27 Adrien Tambay French Eifelland Racing 28 Tiago Geronimi Brazilian Eifelland Racing 29 Henrique Martins* Brazilian Eifelland Racing 30 Kevin Breysse French DAMS Team 31 Jim Pla French DAMS Team 32 Jordan Williams British DAMS Team * Rookie

-credit: fmbw eu

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Patrick Tambay , Damon Hill , Stirling Moss , Jazeman Jaafar , Esteban Gutierrez , Adrien Tambay , Melvin Moh , Carlos Huertas , Doru Sechelariu , Jordan Williams , Anthony Comas , Rupert Svendsen-Cook , Pedro Bianchini , Marco Wittmann , Tiago Geronimi , Mathijs Harkema , Michael Christensen , Kazeem Manzur , Henrique Martins , Daniel Juncadella , Asad Rahman , Thomas Hillsdon , Ramon Pineiro , Giancarlo Vilarinho , Bastian Graber , David Mengesdorf , Ollie Millroy , Juan Cevallos , Mihai Marinescu , Kevin Breysse
Teams Williams , Mücke Motorsport , DAMS