Silverstone presents a new challenge for the drivers. Munich. As the Formula BMW Europe series approaches the halfway point in the 2010 season Jack Harvey (GB/Fortec Motorsports) is proving the driver to beat and, as he heads towards his home ...
Silverstone presents a new challenge for the drivers.
Munich. As the Formula BMW Europe series approaches the halfway point in the 2010 season Jack Harvey (GB/Fortec Motorsports) is proving the driver to beat and, as he heads towards his home race, it is not surprising he lists Silverstone as his favourite track. However, with 30 points for a win, he knows he still has a lot of work to do as his main rival, 2009 Rookie Cup winner, Robin Frijns (NL/Josef Kaufmann Racing), is only 33 points behind.
Silverstone is always a challenging circuit but now it represents a level playing field in the series. The circuit has been changed considerably since last year so all the drivers have the same amount of information gathered from the two day test in early April. The Silverstone Grand Prix circuit used to be 5.1 kilometres long, but has now been extended to 5.9 kilometres. It features a changed section from Abbey towards the inside of Becketts before rejoining the circuit on the National Straight.
Last year it was Frijns who took his first win there, but Harvey puts a good race here at the top of his wish list: "It is special to me, and if I could chose a race to be good at it would be Silverstone, as I enjoy the circuit and it is the British Grand Prix. I am feeling pretty good about going back. I think I have improved a lot since I was there last year, but I had some pretty good results which I am looking to improve on." He also gives the new lay-out his thumbs up: "I thought the new track was good, but felt the old circuit had some real classic corners in there such as Abbey and Bridge. When I found out they were going to extend the circuit and these were not part of the plans I thought there would have to be some pretty good corners in there to make it worth while. I think Brooklands now is quite hard. It is also special going there because it has so much heritage."
Although he is in his second year in the series, Michael Lewis (US/Eurointernational) cut his Formula BMW teeth in the States, so is on a learning curve with all the circuits. However, he has taken this in his stride, as he explained: "I make the same preparations for every race, but Silverstone is quite exciting because of the history and it is a very fast track. In testing I enjoyed the track and had some good runs there. For me, the same as at every track, I just have to put everything together. The first sector is extremely important because you can lose massive amounts of time just with one small mistake, so this track is very concentrated. I shall have to be focused, especially in qualifying, to have that good start to the weekend."
The driver who is hoping to follow Lewis and Frijns by becoming a Rookie Cup winner is Carlos Sainz (ES/Eurointernational), and this year he has had a near perfect run in this class. However, his hundred per cent run came to an end in Valencia when his team-mate, Daniil Kvyat, won this for the first time. However, at the moment second in the points' standings for this is Hannes Van Asseldonk (NL/Josef Kaufmann Racing).
The timetable for Silverstone starts, as usual, with free practice from 08.50 to 09.15 on Friday, with qualifying a short while later from 12.50 to 13.15. Then the first of the two 11 lap races will be at 09.45 on Saturday. However, the big change will be on Sunday when race two will start after the British Grand Prix at 15.30.