The title winner won't be decided until the season final. Munich. Rounds 15 and 16 to be held in Monza, Italy this weekend will mark the end of the season for Formula BMW Europe. The gap between serial winner Esteban Gutierrez (MX/Josef Kaufmann...
The title winner won't be decided until the season final.
Munich. Rounds 15 and 16 to be held in Monza, Italy this weekend will mark the end of the season for Formula BMW Europe. The gap between serial winner Esteban Gutierrez (MX/Josef Kaufmann Racing) and Marco Wittmann (DE/Josef Kaufmann Racing) - which at one time was 67 points - has been narrowed after the rollercoaster races at the Belgian circuit of Spa. Purely in terms of mathematical possibility, one of three drivers could take the Formula BMW Europe championship title. With 315 points Gutierrez still has a comfortable lead over Wittmann (283 points) and Adrien Tambay (FR/Eifelland Racing, 260). But last weekend was an example of how quickly the tide can turn in motor racing. After a bad qualifying session, Gutierrez only made it into the points once with an eighth-placed finish. For the remaining two races, there are still 60 points to be won, plus two extra points for the pole positions.
Monza is the fastest track in the racing calendar. "The fans are bound to see plenty of overtaking manoeuvres in the race. In Monza, driving in the slipstream plays a major role. Naturally I want to win the series in the end," declares Gutierrez. But his team-mate and rival Wittmann still sees himself as being in with a chance: "I never give up. As long as there's a mathematical chance, I will carry on fighting." As Formula One takes its leave of Europe for this year, Formula BMW Europe will be contesting its final race weekend.
For the novices in the series, the season finale will bring some added excitement. The winner of the Rookie Championship will be rewarded with an attractive sponsorship package from BMW for the coming season. Vying for financial backing worth 75,000 euros are Danish driver Michael Christensen (Double R Racing) and David Mengesdorf (Mucke Motorsport) of Germany. Christensen (130) currently heads the standings with a ten-point lead over Mengesdorf (120).
Monza is a kind of home event for the Italian teams Fisichella Motor Sport International from Passignano sul Trasimeno and Eurointernational from San Pietro Mosezzo, which is just 40 kilometres from the track, as well as for driver Kazeem Manzur (Josef Kaufmann Racing). Though Manzur is actually a British citizen, he has lived in the Italian city of Florence for three years. "I go to an international school in Florence, but I have a lot of Italian friends. Italy is a wonderful country and the people are very warm."
Indeed, there are an impressive number of drivers in Formula BMW with a command of the Italian language: Kevin Breysse, Tiago Geronimi, Daniel Juncadella, Mihai Marinescu, Ollie Millroy, Roman Pineiro, Facundo Regalia, Doru Sechelariu, Adrien Tambay and Marco Wittmann. The reason is that many of them spent time in Italy karting.
The Formula BMW Europe races will be held in Monza on Saturday from 17.30 to 18 hrs and on Sunday from 8.45 to 9.15 hrs.
-credit: fbmw eu