The Formula BMW Europe class of 2009 has now completed its first four pre-season tests in Barcelona, Monza, Silverstone and the Nürburgring and the indications are it will be a very exciting season with close racing.
The 27 competitors from 14 different nationalities have been able to get in some useful mileage ahead of the first race in Barcelona and also spent three days at Silverstone for their introductory sessions, which included the first ‘class room’ instructions into general race procedure and the way the series works.
At both Barcelona on 2/3 March and Silverstone on 17/18/19 March the quickest driver was 18-year-old Michael Christensen (Mücke Motorsport). The comment from the Dane, who was the winner of the 2008 Rookie Cup, was: “Compared to last year when I was new into single seater racing, it is much easier to be in the top times. I am working very well with the team and we understand each other as I am better at giving them the right feed back.”
The quickest Rookie at the opening three tests was Christensen’s Mücke Motorsport team-mate, 16-year old Swede Timmy Hansen. The Swedish Karting Champion is adapting very rapidly to the change of machinery, but still explained this is not easy: “Everything is a challenge at the moment as the difference from karting is huge. I have to learn everything from scratch, but the team is good so we have made encouraging progress from our first test.” The second test was in Monza on 10/11 March and that time it was Ollie Millroy (Motaworld Racing) who came out on top. The 18-year-old Brit is also back for his second season in the series and his views are:
“We are learning every time we go on the track and have still lots of things we want to try. We are just getting better and better. It is nice to be quick, but my aim to make sure we are at the top when we get to the race in Barcelona. It is great to be in the series for a second year as you come into the championship with a lot more confidence, knowing you have got that experience advantage over about fifty per cent of the other drivers.” In the Nürburgring it was the turn of Brazil’s Luiz Felipe Nasr (Eurointernational) to be quickest overall with the 16-year-old enthusing about the car: “The team did an incredible job here with my car and we did quite a lot of set-up work. I like the car and the track and it is important for me to get to know the Nür burgring.”