Tambay claims double podium and fastest lap at Road America Frenchman Adrien Tambay travelled to Wisconsin, USA, focused on gaining maximum benefit from his first visit to the challenging circuit. His best efforts delivered two podiums, as well...
Tambay claims double podium and fastest lap at Road America
Frenchman Adrien Tambay travelled to Wisconsin, USA, focused on gaining maximum benefit from his first visit to the challenging circuit. His best efforts delivered two podiums, as well as a fastest lap.
Formula BMW (FBMW) had scheduled a test-day for Wednesday, August 8th, in order to allow its drivers the opportunity to learn one of the world's most demanding circuits. That track-time proved invaluable for the sixteen year-old Tambay, as by the end of the day he topped the time- sheets.
On Friday, the first free-practice session turned out to be a frustrating time for the FBMW field, as wet-weather conditions hampered the drivers, leading to a series of red-flag incidents. Wisely, Tambay chose to not to take to the circuit, and risk himself or the car, in what were very challenging circumstances. This gamble paid off, and the second session took place in dry, sunny conditions, with Tambay again heading the time-sheets.
For Qualifying 1, the competition at the top-end of the grid was intense, with Pole Position driver Philip Major heading Tambay in 2nd place by just 1/100ths of a second. The second qualifying session saw the lap-times take a tumble with all drivers now finding extra grip from the track as the session progressed. By the end of the 20 minute session Tambay's tyres were past their best, and frustratingly he finished the session in second position, this time 2/10ths of a second, off the pole position time.
Warm weather greeted the FBMW field for both Saturday and Sunday, and from his vantage point on the front row for Saturday's Race 1, Tambay made the most of his starting position by taking the lead on the opening lap. With "drafting" having a major effect for those pursing the leaders, Tambay, and his EuroInternational team-mate, and USA FBMW Championship leader, Daniel Morad had agreed to "draft" each other throughout the race. Unfortunately, Morad was involved in an incident early on, which left Tambay "alone" at the front of the field, with the chasing pack closing-in. With those in the "draft" able to improve their lap times by over a second, compared to Tambay's, his small gap to the field soon disappeared, and with two laps remaining of the 10- lap race, he was unable to fend off the pack, capturing 3rd position across the finish line.
Sunday's Race 2, and Tambay, mindful of being caught-out in the "draft" elected to follow the pole-sitter, Esteban Guiterrez, for the opening laps. This strategy worked well, as the two drivers steadily built a gap to the rest of the field, during which time Tambay recorded the fastest lap of the race, proving the advantages of managing the "drafting" technique to his favour. As the battle intensified at the head of the field over the final laps, a frustrated Tambay crossed the line in second place.
Commenting on his first visit to Road America, Adrien Tambay said, "I've had an awesome week! Road America is a fantastic track and I have learnt a great deal which will work well for me at my next FBMW Germany event at Oschersleben, in just two weeks." Tambay went on to say, "To finish my first ever experience of this circuit with two podium positions is a great reward, and I want to thank the entire EuroInternational team, as well as my sponsors Motors TV, Moulin Rouge, Richard Mille, and Mr Hans Hugenholtz and HPG."