Henry Surtees takes maiden win Henry Surtees took his maiden Formula BMW win today in an eventful race at Donington Park. In a day plagued by atrocious weather conditions and aborted races, the 16 year-old rookie triumphed over more experienced drivers to take his first victory from seventh on the grid in race two. Son of former F1 and motorcycle World Champion John Surtees, Henry also collected his fourth Rookie Cup and the Muriel Tomlinson trophy, an award for the Englishman who collects the most points across all championships at the Donington meeting.
Starting from seventh on the grid, Surtees lost one place at the start, but soon started carving his way through the field.
As other drivers made mistakes and fell off the track, Surtees drove a flawless race and executed some excellent overtaking maneuvers to take first place. As the rain started to fall on the already damp track around lap seven, lap times tumbled by up to 16 seconds and the clerk of the course deemed conditions too dangerous for the race to continue. The race was therefore stopped five laps early on lap 11.
Reflecting on his first win, a delighted Surtees commented, “I lost one place at the start but I was soon able to make up the places as I had loads of speed and grip. I was able to close up to people very quickly and force them into mistakes. I passed Arundel up the inside of McLeans, out braking him and then quick on the power on the exit. By then I was in second, and I knew Legris would be difficult to pass but he made a mistake and I was able to get past him. The rain made conditions difficult, but I was able to keep the car on track and when the race was ended five laps early, I knew then and there that I had won my first Formula BMW race. I’m really happy; we had a miserable first race earlier today, but this more than makes up for it.”
Team principal Steve Hollman added, “Henry drove a very good car exceptionally well. The car was well set up for the conditions which was a credit to the team and Henry handled the changing track conditions brilliantly to maximize every opportunity that came his way. It really was a formidable drive.”
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