Newcomers show early promise at Rockingham test session. Rockingham, 03 March, 2007. The Formula BMW UK Championship made a welcome return to the race track today, as 17 young drivers came together for the first time in the first official test...
Newcomers show early promise at Rockingham test session.
Rockingham, 03 March, 2007. The Formula BMW UK Championship made a welcome return to the race track today, as 17 young drivers came together for the first time in the first official test session of the season at Rockingham.
The weather proved helpful giving drivers the chance to shake down their FB02 machines in the dry on Friday, before rain fell through the night to provide some useful wet track time on Saturday morning.
Rookie, Henry Surtees (Carlin Motorsport) showed early promise, topping the timesheets on Friday and finishing sixth on Saturday, with times of 1:20.189 and 1:20.590 respectively. The 16-year old commented: "It's great to get to some wet and dry laps at a test session, as you can learn so much more about how the car is performing. I'm really happy with how things are going so far".
Josef Kral, who joins new team, Double R Racing, was pleased to step back into a Formula BMW machine after competing in Formula BMW Germany last year. After a great start to his campaign on Friday, he commented: "Racing over here is different but I'm really enjoying it. We're working hard but I feel there is still half a second to knock off my lap time!" The half a second was not long in coming when, on Saturday afternoon he clocked an amazing 1:19.536, to finish top of the session.
2006 Rookie of the Year Henry Arundel (Fortec Motorsport) made his intent clear to challenge at the top, finishing third and second overall each day, posting times of 1:20.304 and 1:20.042. "It's going to be a really tough year with plenty of strong competition but I feel up to the challenge and am learning all the time" Arundel said.
Swedish Rookie Marcus Ericsson (Fortec Motorsport), 2004 Formula Ford Champion Valle Makela (Nexa Racing) and Columbian newcomer Carlos Huertas (Double R Racing) also put in good performances to finish near the top of the tables.
With 17 drivers taking to the circuit, from eight nations, this year's championship looks set to be more exciting than ever. The series kicks off at Brands Hatch on April 1 and then tours the UK, finishing in Scotland at Knockhill on September 2. With so many new drivers with varying experience, any one of them could end up the Formula BMW UK Champion 2007.
There is a free practice for all teams at Brands Hatch on 15/16 March.