UK: Thruxton rounds five, six preview

Championship battle heads to Hampshire. Bracknell, 27 April, 2007. Four rounds into the season with three different winners already, the battle to be crowned Formula BMW UK Champion 2007 looks set to rage until the final chequered flag falls in...

Championship battle heads to Hampshire.

Bracknell, 27 April, 2007. Four rounds into the season with three different winners already, the battle to be crowned Formula BMW UK Champion 2007 looks set to rage until the final chequered flag falls in September.

After a thrilling season opener at Brands Hatch, 21-year-old Finnish driver, Valle Makela (Nexa Racing) and Swedish Rookie Marcus Ericsson (Fortec Motorsport) shared the spoils by winning Rounds One and Two respectively.

The first race on the famous Kent track saw some of the closest-fought Formula BMW racing of all time, with 2004 Formula Ford Champion, Makela, crossing the line just 0.137 seconds ahead of Henry Surtees (Carlin Motorsport).

Sixteen-year-old Ericsson, who is managed by IRL champion and Indianapolis 500 winner, Kenny Brack, and has no previous car racing experience, made an impressive debut, claiming a pole position and win on his opening weekend.

Whilst Makela and Ericsson left Brands Hatch as joint Championship leaders, Czech driver Josef Kral (Double R Racing) was determined to make his presence felt next time out, after a disappointing time at Brands having retired from the lead in Round One. The 16-year-old went on to take a double victory at Rockingham leading from lights to flag in both Rounds Three and Four of the Championship, his outright pace proving too great for anyone to match. After another consistent challenge at the top, finishing fifth and third, Ericsson remains Championship leader but, with 14 races still to go, he has plenty still to do if he wants to secure the crown in his debut year.

Two drivers who are also looking to make their mark this season are Thruxton locals, Jonathan Legris (Motaworld Racing) and Daniel McKenzie (Fortec Motorsport) who both raced in the Formula BMW UK Championship last year.

Legris, 19, from Bournemouth has had a rollercoaster of a ride during the last three years. In 2004 his life turned upside down when he was diagnosed with cancer. Having bravely fought the disease twice, he displayed great courage in returning to the track to pursue his Formula One dreams and even made it onto the podium three times in 2006. He began this season with his best ever result, finishing second at Brands Hatch with Motaworld Racing.

Eighteen-year-old Daniel McKenzie, from Poole, was pursuing a career as a footballer before an injury forced him to re-think his sporting path. While recovering from a ruptured knee, he took up karting and has continued racing ever since. For 2007, McKenzie has joined last year's Formula BMW UK Team Trophy winners, Fortec Motorsport, in the hope of realising his true potential.

The pair had a great on-track battle at Rockingham last time out, with Legris coming out on top finishing fourth ahead of McKenzie in sixth. Both are still chasing their maiden victories and will be looking for a good result in front of their home crowd this weekend.

At Thruxton, qualifying will be on Saturday (5th May) with first qualifying from 09.00 to 09.20 and second qualifying from14.15 to 14.35. The first of two16 lap races will also be held on Saturday (5th May) at 17.05. The second race will be on Sunday (6th May) at 12.55.

-credit: bmw.uk

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Kenny Brack , Jonathan Legris , Josef Kral , Daniel McKenzie , Henry Surtees , Marcus Ericsson
Teams Carlin