The Formula Master season is fast approaching its halfway point with rounds seven and eight set to take place at the Circuito do Estoril in Portugal on 12 and 13 July 2008.
As one of two new tracks on the Formula Master calendar this year, Estoril retains an element of unknown for the Series' drivers. Although testing took place there earlier this year, none of the young racers have driven their Formula Master single-seaters competitively around the circuit.
Jenzer Motorsport's Fabio Leimer proved fastest on both test days, claiming an overall fastest time of 1:31.843. While the young Swiss' pace has failed to translate into a win so far, his speed at Estoril indicates that next weekend could be his chance.
"The car felt really good when we were there last time," said Leimer who scored his first Formula Master podium last May in Valencia. "It's great in the corners. The circuit is pretty unique; Valencia is probably the only other track on this year's calendar that shares similarities with Estoril so that's promising for me!"
Drivers Classification leader Chris van der Drift will be looking to extend his lead over second-placed man Michael Ammermüller, the only driver to score points in all races so far. The New Zealand-born Dutchman holds 34 points to Ammermüller's 30 and hopes to increase the gap as much as possible.
"I'll definitely be watching how Ammermüller is doing," said van der Drift. "Normally by the time the qualifying session starts you have a fair idea on how fast your competitors are, so you know what you need to do!
"Testing at Estoril will have been helpful for everyone, considering that this is a new track for the Series but you drive a lot by yourself during tests. Driving the circuit will be familiar already and we'll know the braking points but until you actually race, you're not going to know where the good places to pass are or how close you can drive to someone else."
Eurosport's coverage for Formula Master's race weekend in Portugal, will begin Saturday 12 July with race one shown live at 13:00 (CET) on Eurosport International and Asia Pacific. Sunday's race two will be broadcast live on Eurosport 2 and Asia Pacific at 16:30 (CET).