Frijns and Sainz set fastest times in Barcelona. Munich. The second official Formula BMW Europe test in Barcelona this week gave the youngsters some differing weather conditions as they prepare for the first race of the season at this track in...
Frijns and Sainz set fastest times in Barcelona.
Munich. The second official Formula BMW Europe test in Barcelona this week gave the youngsters some differing weather conditions as they prepare for the first race of the season at this track in just over six weeks. At the end of the two days it was the 2009 Rookie Cup winner, Robin Frijns (NL/Josef Kaufmann Racing), who was fastest with a time a second quicker than last year's pole, while BMW Junior driver, Carlos Sainz (ES/Eurointernational), was just over a tenth of a second slower.
Day one on Sunday was dry with the temperatures in the mid teens and the quickest time was 1:50.442. However, on Monday the rains came and so all except about 40 minutes of running either side of the lunch break was in the wet, and the fastest time was 1:52.269 set by Timmy Hansen (SE/Mucke Motorsport). Frijns was happy after the test, especially as he didn't feel he had achieved much in the snowed-off Monza test: "Monza was a rubbish test with all the snow. What can you do in those conditions? Sunday was great and I was able to test things on the car to try and find a better set up than last year. On top of this the car was good on both old and new tyres."
Also happy with how things went was top Rookie, Sainz. The 15-year-old who comes from Madrid said. "This was a great start for me, and this is the perfect schooling to learn about formula racing. I am working hard with the team and learning all the time. The biggest differences I find between karting and single seaters are the top speed on the straights and the aerodynamics in the fast corners. At the moment it is very difficult to reach the car's full potential, but I am feeling great."
As soon as the cars were put back in their transporters on Monday Sainz, his Eurointernational team mates, Michael Lewis (US) and Daniil Kvyat (RU), and Fahmi Ilyas (MY/DAMS) were on a plane to Malaysia where they will be guest drivers in the first races of Formula BMW Pacific at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
In Spain another driver from the 2009 season appeared for the first time, as Olivier Lombard (FR) has now signed with DAMS to contest the 2010 season. Also at the test was Christof von Grunigen (CH) fo r Fortec Motorsports. The Swiss driver made one guest appearance at the final race last year in Monza, but has yet to make a decision on whether he will compete for a full season in 2010.
The drivers still have three tests before the start of the season in Silverstone on 6/7 April, Spa-Francorchamps on12/13 April and Zandvoort on 20/21 April, then once the season has started they will test in Budapest on 25/26 May and Hockenheim on 1/2 June.
There are six teams taking part in Formula BMW Europe in 2010. The team whose driver was quickest overall in Barcelona was Josef Kaufmann Racing. This is a true family run team with its Team Principal being Josef Kaufmann and his son, Lars Kaufmann, Team Manager, who at the end of the two days was very upbeat about not only the performance of Frijns, but also that of their two Rookies, Hannes Van Asseldonk (NL) and Petri Suvanto (FI): "Everything went okay with Robin fastest all day on Sunday. He put on new tyres and used them perfectly. He made no mistakes, which is as it should be. Our two Rookies are still learning, which is perfectly normal and you expect some small mistakes. The time they are missing is not a problem as we know the reasons. Sunday was the first time either of them had been on new tyres, and this was not an issue for them. When you consider they have not done a lot of testing days over the winter, their performance so far is good."
Kaufmann also said that having Frijns in the same team was a good reference point for the Rookies. In fact, as well as keeping fit over the winter, Frijns has been doing some young driver training with a 12-year-old karter, so helping his younger team-mates is quite natural for him and something he says is fun.
Josef Kaufmann set up his team in 1980 in Wolsfeld in Germany. The list of drivers who have come under his guidance is most impressive and includes Gerhard Berger, Frank Biela, Sebastien Buemi, Nico Hulkenberg, Arie Lyendijk, Timo Scheider and Volker Weidler. Apart from Berger winning in Formula One, both Weidler and Biela have been in the winning car at the Le Mans 24 Hours and Lyendijk is a double Indy 500 winner.
The team won the Formula BMW ADAC Championship in 2005, the Formula BMW Germany Championship in 2006 and Formula BMW Europe in 2008. It has also guided Rookies to titles in 2005, 2007 and 2009. Nowadays the team concentrates totally on Formula BMW Europe, but in the eighties won championships in Formula Renault and Formula 3.
Overall Fastest Times
Pos Driver/Team Time
1 Robin Frijns (NL/Josef Kaufmann Racing) 1:50.442
2 Carlos Sainz (ES/Eurointernational) (R) 1:50.562
3 Michael Lewis (US/Eurointernational) 1:50.633
-source: fbmw eu