Makela and Ericsson convert poles to wins in 2007 season openers. Brands Hatch, 1 April, 2007. The Formula BMW UK Championship 2007 got underway today in spectacular style with Valle Makela (Nexa Racing) claiming the first win of the day and ...
Makela and Ericsson convert poles to wins in 2007 season openers.
Brands Hatch, 1 April, 2007. The Formula BMW UK Championship 2007 got underway today in spectacular style with Valle Makela (Nexa Racing) claiming the first win of the day and Rookie, Marcus Ericsson (Fortec Motorsport), taking an outright win in race two. Both now share the championship lead after two rounds.
In a thrilling start to the season, Round One saw some of the closest fought Formula BMW racing of all time, with 21-year old Finnish driver, Makela crossing the line just 0.137 seconds ahead of Henry Surtees (Carlin Motorsport) before claiming third in Round Two.
Makela said: "I had to defend hard in race one but I knew I could win. It's great to get back to winning ways after a bit of a dry spell last season!"
Makela was challenged hard by Surtees and Josef Kral (Double R Racing), who made his way up from sixth on the grid to third. Surtees and Kral were switching positions in a close battle before Kral's race ended in the gravel at Paddock Hill while making a brave move for the lead.
The skirmish at the front enabled Ericsson and Henry Arundel (Fortec Motorsport) to catch onto the back of the trio making it then a five-way tussle for first place. Young Swede, Ericsson finished on the podium in his first ever single-seater race, before then going two steps better in Round Two, winning from pole and becoming the first Rookie to win an outright race since Ross Curnow at Knockhill in 2004.
Ericsson couldn't contain his excitement after such a great start to his campaign. "They were both great races so I'm really happy," he commented. "In race one I was defending one corner and attacking the next so I had to keep thinking all the time. Then, during the second race, I kept checking my mirrors and there was nothing there!"
Despite a great debut in Round One where he topped the Rookies and finish second overall, Surtees along with Arundel received drive through penalties for jump starts in Round Two, leaving Ericsson the chance to pull out a five second lead by the chequered flag. Jonathan Legris (Motaworld Racing) made a happy return to the championship to claim second place.
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (Fortec Motorsport) finished second in the Rookies for Round Two, with two solid performances from Oliver Webb (Carlin Motorsport) rounding out the top three in the Rookie class for both races.
Despite being at opposite ends of the experience scale, Ericsson and Makela top the table after an exciting start to the season. With so much talent and hunger for success, the rest of the season looks set to be just as thrilling.