Gutierrez wins two races in Zolder. Zolder, 1st June 2008. This weekend saw Formula BMW Europe stopping off in Belgium. Mexican driver Esteban Gutierrez (Josef Kaufmann Racing) proved to be in sparkling form on the Zolder race track. The junior...
Gutierrez wins two races in Zolder.
Zolder, 1st June 2008. This weekend saw Formula BMW Europe stopping off in Belgium. Mexican driver Esteban Gutierrez (Josef Kaufmann Racing) proved to be in sparkling form on the Zolder race track. The junior driver - just 16 years of age - won the third round of the Formula BMW Europe season at midday on Sunday, ahead of Daniel Juncadella (ES/Eurointernational) and Marco Wittmann (DE/Josef Kaufmann Racing). Just five hours later he likewise claimed victory in the fourth round, relegating Wittmann and Adrien Tambay (FR/Eifelland Racing) to second and third places.
In sunny weather, the young drivers delivered a brace of disciplined races. Polesetter Juncadella forfeited his lead on the very first lap of the third round when he was passed by the eventual winner, Gutierrez. Wittmann, starting from the second row of the grid, lost his third place to Romanian driver Doru Sechelariu (Fortec Motorsport) at the start. But 17-year-old Wittmann, whose home is near the German town of Nuremberg, piled on the pressure and managed to overtake Sechelariu on lap 8 after the Romanian made a mistake.
Gutierrez launched into the second race of the day from P3, slipping past Wittmann at the start and showing Juncadella his tail lights on lap 2. Gutierrez, who currently lives in Spain, refused to relinquish his lead for the rest of the race. Tambay, meanwhile, had launched a brave catching-up exercise. The son of ex- Formula One driver Patrick Tambay slowly battled his way from sixth to third place on the tight circuit.
Best Rookie in both races was Formula BMW junior David Mengesdorf (DE/Mucke Motorsport) from Munich, who secured fourth and fifth place. After four out of 16 races, Gutierrez leads the overall rankings with 104 points, ahead of Tambay (92) and Juncadella. Heading the special Rookie category is Mengesdorf (44 points), followed by Danish driver Michael Christensen (Double R Racing, 14) and Ramon Pineiro (Fortec Motorsport, 12) from Spain.
1st place Round 3
1st place Round 4
Esteban Gutierrez (MX/Josef Kaufmann Racing):
"For me it was an absolutely brilliant weekend. Two wins are very good, although the races were really tough. I got away to a good start both times and managed to make up positions. On the track I focused totally on my driving and tried not to look in the rear-view mirrors. I was checking the consistency of my lap times on the steering wheel display. Although Wittmann was really breathing down my neck in Sunday's second race, I refused to let myself be pressured. Perhaps that was the secret of my success this weekend."
2nd place Round 3
6th place Round 4
Daniel Juncadella (ES/Eurointernational):
"Two pole positions are ideal. So is a second-placed finish. My race starts were good, but Esteban was simply the better driver this weekend. Of course you always wait for another driver to make a mistake and also try to put them under pressure, but sometimes you end up risking too much - which is what happened in Round 4. I strayed onto the dirt, lost places, and ended up back in sixth place."
3rd place Round 3
2nd place Round 4
Marco Wittmann (DE/Josef Kaufmann Racing):
"I am happy with my results - second and third place. My own feeling was that I had closed the gap to the competition in Zolder. As a member of the Josef Kaufmann Team, I have to say that Esteban and me on the podium reflects a fantastic joint effort on the part of everyone involved. But at the next race in Silverstone I'm determined to win. To achieve that I will have to work on myself. At the moment my race start just isn't ideal. I lost places in both races because of it, and had to fight my way back again. We will now be testing for two days each in Spa and Budapest, and I'll be focusing on improving my race starts."
8th place Round 3
3rd place Round 4
Adrien Tambay (FR/Eifelland Racing):
"What a weekend! After qualifying in tenth and sixth place, I was really down. During Round 3 I was coming off the track if I pushed too hard, and if I eased up, I was too slow. Fortunately I was able to get things together in the next race and improved from sixth to third place. David Mengesdorf's manoeuvre was very fair. We were scrapping for third place and he behaved like a sportsman. I was faster than him and he opened the door slightly, which allowed me to overtake.
Rounds 5 and 6 of Formula BMW Europe will take place in Silverstone from 4th to 6th July on the undercard of the British Formula One Grand Prix.