Rookies on the Croft of a wave. Bracknell, 25 May, 2007. Six rounds into the Formula BMW UK season and this year's Rookies are proving tough to beat with Swede Marcus Ericsson (Fortec Motorsport) leading the Championship as the series heads...
Rookies on the Croft of a wave.
Bracknell, 25 May, 2007. Six rounds into the Formula BMW UK season and this year's Rookies are proving tough to beat with Swede Marcus Ericsson (Fortec Motorsport) leading the Championship as the series heads north this weekend.
With a mixture of junior car racing and karting backgrounds, this year's nine Rookies are proving to be fierce competition for their more experienced rivals. Sixteen-year-old Ericsson scored a podium in his first ever car race at Brands Hatch, which he followed up later that day with an impressive win. His consistent front-running performances have left him as the man to beat as the grid returns to the North Yorkshire circuit for the first time since testing here back in March. Managed by IRL Champion and Indy 500 winner Kenny Brack, Ericsson still has a long way to go if he wants to keep his lead but so far he has already exceeded the usual expectations of a Rookie season.
The other Rookies look just as keen to break normal protocol. Henry Surtees (Carlin Motorsport) currently lies third in the overall Championship and was quickest here in pre-season testing - beating the current Formula BMW lap record by half a second. Surtees put his car on pole last time out at Thruxton, but due to a rapid Josef Kral (Double R Racing) he was unable to hold onto the win. He will be looking to make that step up to the top of the podium this weekend.
Rookies and ex-T-Car racers, Oliver Webb (Carlin Motorsport) and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (Fortec Motorsport) have both been impressive in qualifying. Webb started second in Round Six at Thruxton with Quaife-Hobbs claiming pole for Round Three at Rockingham but neither converted their positions to podium finishes. Eager to gain points on their rivals, they will be looking to build on their opening races this weekend.
In the Championship standings Ericsson now has only a ten-point lead from 2006 Rookie of the Year, Henry Arundel (Fortec Motorsport). Arundel has new- found hunger following his first ever Formula BMW UK race win in Round Five at Thruxton. With three wins to his name so far this season, Kral, who is currently lying fourth, is also determined to chase down the front-runners and upset the tables this weekend.
Sixteen-year-old Tom Gladdis also makes the switch to the newly formed Team BRD for the remainder of the season, and will be looking to make further improvements on his return to Yorkshire this weekend.
A Rookie could well win the Championship in his debut season of car racing, but we'll have to wait until the chequered flag falls for the final time at Knockhill in September before the 2007 Champion is crowned.