Formula BMW Europe Heads to Zandvoort. Munich. Circuit Park Zandvoort, the track in the sand dunes of the Netherlands' seaside resort, is the next venue for the 2009 Formula BMW Europe series. On the weekend of 12 and 13 June the two races will...
Formula BMW Europe Heads to Zandvoort.
Munich. Circuit Park Zandvoort, the track in the sand dunes of the Netherlands' seaside resort, is the next venue for the 2009 Formula BMW Europe series. On the weekend of 12 and 13 June the two races will be part of the programme that includes the prestigious Tango Masters of Formula 3 race .
With just two rounds behind them the battle for honours has been fierce between the youngsters. It is Brazil's Felipe Nasr (Eurointernational) and Denmark's Michael Christensen (Mucke Motorsport) who have come out on top with a win and second place each, although Nasr leads the series thanks to two pole positions.
However, it is a local driver who has proved the quickest of the Rookie Cup entrants. This is 17-year-old Robin Frijns (Josef Kaufmann Racing) from Maastricht, who came fourth in both of the opening weekend's races in Barcelona. Since the first races in Spain the teams have done a test at the Hungaroring track and here it was another 17-year-old local Rookie, Jack te Braak (Muck Motorsport) from Doetinchem, who showed a turn of speed in this group of youngsters in their first year of single seater racing. These two have a lot in common as, not only are they fighting for the top Rookie honours, but both of them have Ayrton Senna as their motorsport hero and Spa-Francorchamps as their favourite circuit from karting days.
For Frijns, who had to miss the majority of the Budapest test as he was unwell, this will be his first visit to Zandvoort as he explained: "I have watched races from there on tv, but that is all. I am told it is a nice track to drive on as it has a lot of fast flowing corners, as well as some slow ones that are more difficult. If you drive in your home country, certainly you want to win, but I am still a rookie and my aim is to finish on the podium. I have to take each race step by step, especially as my first ever car race was in Barcelona."
Last weekend the Spanish Rookie, Antonio Martinez (Fortec Motorsport), was a guest driver with Eurasia Motorsport in the Formula BMW Pacific races at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. His comment after gaining some valuable experience was: "It was a great experience. I think I learnt a lot and also had the opportunity to do a lot of racing miles, which is what I lack. The circuit is fantastic and there were many quick drivers. Apart from seeing different races, the championship is pretty much the same as in Europe. If everything goes well in the next few races I hope I shall be able to compete in another meeting. It was definitely worthwhile."
Martinez is not the only Rookie driver to look to the other series for experience, as Olivier Lombard (Eurointernational) went to Virginia International Raceway just before the start of the season to take part in the third and fourth rounds of Formula BMW Americas.
While the drivers will be concentrating on their own Formula BMW races, they will also have the chance to see some of the graduates from the 2008 series in the prestigious Formula 3 race. These include the reigning champion, Esteban Gutierrez, Marco Wittmann, Patrick Tambay and Tiago Geronimi. Meanwhile the eventual F3 winner will follow in the footsteps of the likes of Lewis Hamilton and David Coulthard.
Circuit Park Zandvoort is just a few metres from the North Sea and about 30 kilometres from Amsterdam, and it held 30 Formula One races between 1952 and 1985. The drivers will get their first chance to try their FB02 cars on this 4.250 km track on Thursday afternoon for a test from 17.00 to 18.00 . Free practice follows on Friday from 14.00 to 14.25. Qualifying on Saturday is from 10.55 to 11.20. Both 13 lap races will be on Sunday with Race 1 at 09.00 and Race 2 at 16.25. All times are local CET.