Formula BMW Germany/UK team up
29th June 2007
Formula BMW Germany/UK team up
BMW is taking its junior talent promotion scheme to a new level. As from season 2008, the Formula BMW Germany and Formula BMW UK championships will merge to create Formula BMW Europe. The new championship will mainly be staged on the undercard of the FIA Formula One World Championship.
"I am delighted to see Formula BMW substantially staking out its presence within the framework of the FIA Formula One World Championship and establishing itself as a strong and permanent feature of numerous Formula One race weekends. For talented young drivers, Formula BMW represents the first step towards a professional motor sport career that can take them via GP2 all the way up to Formula One. A current tally of six team and test drivers in the 2007 Formula One season bears impressive testimony of that", says Bernie Ecclestone.
BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen welcomes the upgrading of the series: “For us Formula BMW Europe marks the next step in the internationally oriented Formula BMW concept. Following the example of the Formula 3 Euro Series, two strong championships will join forces to create an even stronger series. It means we can offer drivers and teams a platform which, in this format, is a first for any junior race series and which will allow them to profit from our Formula One involvement.
Starting with the 2008 season, our three Formula BMW championships in Asia, North America and Europe will see us represented internationally in all the key motor sport markets. Formula BMW Europe will enable young drivers to get to know the major GP2 and Formula One circuits at the earliest possible stage, along with the Formula One environment that will be important to them later.“
Formula BMW Europe will underpin and further develop the already strong presence of its sister series at the Grand Prix events in Asia and North America: It will comprise a maximum of eight race weekends, with most of the events anticipated to be held during European Grands Prix. There are also plans to stage a maximum of two race weekends within the framework of other high-profile motor sport series.
A race weekend will consist of a free practice session (Friday), qualifying (Saturday) and two races, one to take place on Saturday and the other on Sunday. Each race lasts around 25 minutes. In line with the existing Formula BMW series, the familiar junior talent sponsorship concept will be maintained in Formula BMW Europe.
“Formula BMW offers talented young drivers more than just a racing car,” explains Theissen, “In the Education and Coaching Programme we have drawn up specially for these drivers, they are taught everything they need to know to assert themselves in the wider world of motor racing. Formula BMW has evolved from a standing start to become the leading entry-level class of Formula racing worldwide. We provide the young drivers with the requisite tools that will enable them to work their way through to the higher Formula classes.”
Formula BMW is the world’s leading entry-level class in Formula racing. 2007 sees the series staged in Germany, Britain, Asia and the USA. Aspiring drivers as young as 15 can enter the world of motor racing behind the wheel of the standard, state-of-the-art FB02 vehicle. This season alone, more than 70 drivers from 30 nations and five continents are competing in the series worldwide.
The race car has been lining up on the grid since the 2002 season and sets standards above all in terms of safety. A monoposto powered by a 140 hp BMW engine to a top speed of 230 km/h, the FB02 exceeds the safety standards stipulated for its class by the international motor sport governing body, the FIA. BMW Motorsport developed the FORS Formula One Rescue Seat specially for Formula BMW, while the HANS safety system is also mandatory for all drivers.
Formula BMW is making four appearances in 2007 within the framework of a Formula One event. All series offer a comprehensive Education and Coaching Programme as well as scholarships for promising young drivers. The best-known graduates of this talent hothouse are Formula One drivers Ralf Schumacher, Christian Klien, Timo Glock, Adrian Sutil, Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel.
From November 24 to 26, 2006 the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo hosted the second Formula BMW World Final. 37 young racing drivers from the four regional Formula BMW series competed against each other with the winner Christian Vietoris receiving a test drive with the BMW Sauber F1 Team.
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