video view Rob Bunker is true to his generation, easily adapting technology to every task. The Bridgewater, N.J., teen used television replays and video games to learn the turns of the 2.605-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course to...
Rob Bunker is true to his generation, easily adapting technology to every task. The Bridgewater, N.J., teen used television replays and video games to learn the turns of the 2.605-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course to prepare for a Formula BMW USA double-race weekend on July 18 and 19, during the Formula One World Championship United States Grand Prix.
"The track seemed like second nature after all these years of watching it on TV and video games. From the first session on, the [driving] line was perfect," he said.
Bunker was disappointed his results didn't reflect his track knowledge. He qualified the No. 18 AIM Autosport Formula BMW FB2 car 17th for both races, but started the first from the back of the field after being caught in a multi-car crash on the first race lap. He moved back up to finish 17th.
"The front wing got sucked up underneath the front of my car. I was lucky enough to get it back into the pits and my team did a fantastic job -- it was like F1-style, ripping the nose off, putting the new one on and getting me out there before the safety car came around," he reported. "We had to start in the back, but we were running times very close to what the guys up front were running. The performance we put into the race was fantastic, but the results weren't that good."
The second race was closer to Bunker's trademark style, as he charged through the field. But a handling problem dropped him back to finish 16th.
"I got another good rocket start; within the first few laps I was up to 10th or 11th. But we were battling understeer that progressed as the race went on, so we ended up losing positions and falling all the way back to 16th," he said. "I drove the car at its limits, but the results unfortunately don't show that. It was a bit of a rough weekend for the whole team."
Bunker acknowledged longer races might contribute to stronger results -- "Something involving pitstops would be nice!" -- but he enjoys the high competition level in the BMW series. "Even though this is like an entry series and there are a few techniques that we as drivers haven't learned yet , we pull out all the stops trying to win."