Philipp Eng takes Super Pole at Formula BMW World Final Philipp Eng (AUT) set the fastest time of 1:18.418 minutes in the "Super Pole" competition at the Formula BMW World Final. His Mücke Motorsport teammate Josef Král (CZE) was second at Valencia's "Circuit de la Comunitat", just 0.509 seconds slower than Eng. Third went to Sam Abay (AUS) from the Double R Racing team.
In a thrilling single-lap contest, the eight drivers involved were not just looking to secure a good starting position for the six intermediate races (the "heats"), which start on Saturday and will determine the grid positions for the Formula BMW World Final. They were also included in one of two qualifying groups, with both groups hoping to set the fastest lap times in two earlier 30-minute sessions. Group two, in which Eng set the best time of the afternoon, proved to be the quicker of the two groups.
"It was great to finish at the top in qualifying," said Eng. "The Super Pole is a nice bonus. The key in the single-lap qualifying was to get the tyres and brakes up to the perfect temperature. Luckily I managed this, and now am in the best possible position for the heats. This is a good starting point."
Eng, who finished third overall in the 2007 Formula BMW Germany championship, will lead Group A from pole position in the first of six interim races starting at 10:15hrs on Saturday. In an "everyone against everyone" format, the 35 drivers have been split into four groups and now do battle for the best possible grid positions.
The winner of each "heat" receives zero points for the intermediate standings, second receives two points, third three points, and so on. The driver with the least points at the end of the heats starts from pole position in the World Final race at 14:50hrs on Sunday.
Král's experience from last year's Formula BMW World Final means he knows what the heats are all about: "I have a good position right at the front of the grid for all the heats. However, it is still important to get a good start in these sprint races. You cannot afford a DNF. At the front of the field, there is certainly less risk of getting caught up in any incidents. I watched Christian Vietoris's Formula 1 drive. However, instead of dreaming of this unique opportunity, I am concentrating even harder on doing a good job. We'll see whether it is good enough."
Like Král, who finished second in the 2007 Formula BMW UK Championship, Abay competed in Great Britain this season. "But it didn't go as well as planned for me this season. I finished eighth", said the 17-year-old. "This means I'm even happier to have made a good start to the World Final weekend. I am really enjoying this event. We are spending a lot of time here in the FB02 racing car - and that is enough to make any driver happy."
In the final race on Sunday, it is not just about a prestigious victory, but also an opportunity to drive with the BMW Sauber F1 Team.
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