EU: Series Spa race 1 report

Tarancon and van Asseldonk take first wins. Spa-Francorchamps, 28 August 2010. Javier Tarancon (ES/DAMS) notched up his first Formula BMW Europe win in today's very exciting Formula BMW Europe race in Spa-Francorchamps. Behind him were the two...

Tarancon and van Asseldonk take first wins.

Spa-Francorchamps, 28 August 2010. Javier Tarancon (ES/DAMS) notched up his first Formula BMW Europe win in today's very exciting Formula BMW Europe race in Spa-Francorchamps. Behind him were the two championship protagonists, Robin Frijns (NL/Josef Kaufmann Racing) and Jack Harvey (GB/Fortec Motorsports), in second and third, while Hannes van Asseldonk (NL/Josef Kaufmann Racing) made sure his name was in the series' history books by finishing the top Rookie and in fourth.

After some atrocious weather conditions for free practice and qualifying, thankfully today's race was held in dry conditions, even though there were some damp patches on the track. However, this did not mean the race was not incident packed with the first accident as the cars left the grid and went into La Source. As the cars threaded their way round the corner that is notorious for first lap accidents there was contact between several cars, with a spinning Carlos Sainz (ES/Eurointernational), who was tagged by another car, finishing up pointing in the wrong direction and being hit head on by Maciej Bernacik (PL/Mucke Motorsport). Sainz retired immediately while Bernacik and Michael Lewis (US/Eurointernational) made it back to the pits. The Pole continued, but the American retired.

At the end of lap one the Safety Car was deployed for one lap to clear away the Sainz car, and at this point polesitter, Côme Ledogar (FR/Eifelland Racing), was leading from van Asseldonk and Tarancon. Frijns had made up two places from eighth on the grid, while Marc Coleselli (AT/Eifelland Racing) had moved up from 13th to eighth and fellow Rookie, Daniil Kyvat (RU/Eurointernational) had already made up five places in the race that saw him make up nine in total.

On lap three Facu Regalia (AR/Eifelland Racing) spun and hit the barriers while in fifth and trying to overtake Harvey. Then on lap four Frijns' progress through the field saw him pass Harvey and slot into fourth, while his team- mate van Asseldonk was now leading. On lap four Frijns moved up another place to third. On lap five Tarancon made a decisive move on van Asseldonk and took the lead that he kept until the end of the nine lap race. Unfortunately for the young Dutch Rookie he was then overtaken by his fellow countryman on lap seven and Harvey on lap nine, after they had crossed the line at the end of lap eight more or less side by side.

Spa-Francorchamps is the longest track on the Formula BMW Europe calendar at 7.004 kilometres, but this did not mean the cars became spread out with fractions of a second separating them for most of the race.

1st Round 13: Javier Tarancon (ES/DAMS): "The race was really good, and it is my first win so I am very happy. It was a crazy race because the track was half wet and half dry and there was also the safety car. The car was really good here. Last year my DAMS team-mate won so this is a good track for us. At the beginning I was in the middle of the pack and then after the Safety Car I started to push. I caught the leading guys and on the back straight I overtook Hannes who was really good and didn't block me, so after that I was just trying to build up a gap."

2nd Round 13: Robin Frijns (NL/Josef Kaufmann Racing): "Starting eighth in Spa is always fun, as you have long straighgts here so it is easy to pass. At the start I don't know exactly what happened but I had to brake. I was sixth when the Safety Car came out and after that it was fun to watch what was happening at the front. I was able to put in some good lap times, overtake some cars and finish second, which is good as Jack is behind me and that is the important thing. For me it is really fun to drive in these conditions with some wet parts that are really tricky."

3rd Round 13: Jack Harvey (GB/Fortec Motorsports): "It was a difficult race with the conditions a little bit dry and a little bit wet, which always make it quite hard especially as I started fifth. I was in the danger area at the first corner, but was quite lucky and managed to get through without being involved in the accident. I couldn't really push for any further up than third, but it was another good result. I think the approach to this weekend is a little bit different as me and Robin are fighting for the championship, so you can't be too cautious, but you can't be reckless either."

4th Round 13 and Top Rookie: Hannes van Asseldonk (NL/Josef Kaufmann Racing): "I started from seventh and the track was a little bit drier that side. My start was perfect and I caught Jack immediately. Everyone was going for the inside so I went for the left to brake on the dry part. Then Michael collided with me but I got through and was fourth. On the first lap Javier and Jack were fighting but I was much faster and the car was great so I was able to go by. After the Safety car I was not behind Côme immediately, but soon got there. I tried to overtake him at the end of the Kemmel straight and I didn't get by, but he saw I was faster so on the next lap let me by. I was then leading, but I know I am not fast enough to finish first, and so first Javier and then Robin overtook me. Then I was fighting with Jack but he got by me on the last lap and I am disappointed not to be on the podium."

-source: fbmw eu

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Carlos Sainz , Michael Lewis , Facu Regalia , Jack Harvey , Côme Ledogar , Javier Tarancon , Robin Frijns , Hannes van Asseldonk
Teams Mücke Motorsport , DAMS