Drive Like Bruno: formula BMW race car FB02 in the driving report

It is hanging at the end of November 2017 and heavy rain clouds threatening low over the stands of the Hockenheimring. It’s cold November weather, without If and But and without prospect of improvement. Where else is always an Optimist, has found sees it on the horizon, “bright”, there is today nothing more than examining eyes under protective canopies. Fortunately, it sees our host, the density of the clouds just away smile. Bruno Spengler has been invited to give the winners of the “Drive Like Bruno”event at the BMW Bank here in Hockenheim in a unique day – and of the successful DTM-Pilot through a bit of rain will certainly not stop.

Three key elements of the programme are available today until nightfall on the Plan. In the framework of the BMW Driving Experience, the participants in Slalom and full throttle can collect experiences in the BMW M3, in this module Discover the BMW for a spin with the dream-hybrid BMW i8 and finally, as part of the BMW Racing Experience three laps in a real formula BMW race car on the Hockenheim GP-Track driving. Accordingly, the mood is scratchy in the morning, shortly after Nine, as the group swiftly moved through the drizzle in the direction of the pit lane. Most of the participants of the “Drive like Bruno” to a private BMW on the race track is hardly one of them was prior to the Event, however, on-the-go.

For me, the program should start with the ride in the race cars, the Highlight of the day follows as the first Cup of coffee. BMW FB02-the right emotion-free designation of the formula-racer is with Munich between 2002 and 2011, active promotion of new talent for Motorsport. Big names celebrated in the tight Cockpit of the FB02 unit cars their first championship, including Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg. Since 2011, the attention to safety and ease of repair designed formula BMW no longer be used regularly in racing and come out on a few dates during the year – for example, in the case of “Drive Like Bruno” – as a test objects for racetrack enthusiasts, Amateur riders to get back on track.

I’m standing in a makeshift locker room and try me as elegantly as possible in one of the fire squeeze-resistant racing suits. My thoughts are somewhere between stable optimism – after all, the racing car real entry-level cars for 15-year-old! – and of approaching panic, as out of stop sets the end of the Winter, the track and the cars, of course, completely on the driver wizard, such as ABS or ESP without. A short time later, the group gathers in the Garage next door to the theoretical discussion.

At least at first glance, the BMW FB02 dispensed with the usual regulars-superlatives. With the 140 HP of the 1.2-litre motorcycle-four-cylinder delivers in the rear as much as an average Golf. The weight makes here, however, the difference is just 465 kilograms, the race-car driving finished brings on the scale. The acceleration time from Zero to Hundred is 3.5 seconds, and top out at 230 km/h.

As the instructors just Starting with the six-speed sequential-explain the transmission, enters Bruno Spengler the room. His Smile has taken the professional racing driver for a short time, instead, the already feared announcement comes with some sadness: the track is simply too wet, the conditions in spite of the rain tires to be unsafe. At least in the morning, the race car must remain in the Garage. For Bruno promises to be hot taxi laps, so that everyone can make a picture of the Situation – the disappointment is forgotten after a few minutes.

Junior driver Nico Menzel of us, with the routine determination in a BMW M3 Competition sedan to the 4,57 km long Track. It is really inhospitable out there. Up to the third gear, the wheels turn, and in each of the 17 curves of the 450 HP pushing the tail in the Drift. Menzel counter-steers resolutely and begins what others would have declared to have been long lost. It is not pleasant to sit in a formula BMW car. However, in the afternoon of the next attempt.

After a rain-free lunch movement comes in the Box. A handful of BMW FB02 is rolled out of the Garage and lined up. As soon as I switch is for the second Time in the racing suit and fold a short time later my legs actually made it into absurdly tight Cockpit of the race car. While me, a mechanic moored on the unpadded seat, it starts to drizzle. No ESP, not even ABS will not depart from right now just. With a light Screech, we roll out of the Box and there is no going Back.

Mercilessly, the motorcycle engine revs up and just as vehemently FB02 shoots forward. Spray from the tires of the front man injected on my visor as we approach the Parabolika. Braking on the first corner. I’m trying to dose the brake and to imagine what will happen if the wheels lock up. Downshifting with the double – declutching unusual. Then turn-in and straight on to the next Problem: acceleration out of the curve. The border region of the formula car on the wet track, at least for me as a racing novice so predictable as a lightning strike, the dreaded screwdriver, only a tiny inattention. So then: full throttle.

The high-speed section of the Hockenheimring feels surreal when one is actually in the fresh air. Mercilessly, the journey is pulling the wind on my helmet. With the left Hand I think the thin racing steering wheel clutching to switch with the right, alternately, to free the visor from the Spray. I curse the November, brake early and hope and plead for mercy at the hairpin. Screaming, the four-cylinder comes in the next acceleration. Lucky – more.

Driver be pre-programmed with the weather actually, it was just in the Box. I hope on my finger tip feeling, miss Nico Menzel and his M3. Blurry slides in the second round of the empty Mercedes-Benz grandstand in the picture. While I’m accelerating at the apex of the curve, I’ll have a small trickle of true that the infusion of kicking themselves in the direction of the Kerbstones, and this small difference between a damp track and wet Asphalt marked. Game Over.

The screwdriver comes abruptly and without any noticeable notice. The tail breaks out, followed by a brief Moment of disorientation. Almost on the spot, the BMW FB02 comes to a stop. Obviously, everything is in order. Turn-in, Start-up – you’re on your way’With the greatest caution, we will complete a third and final round, brake gently and accelerate moderately.

At the end of the enthusiasm for the uncompromised and pure driving sensation of the formula-racer outweighs that of all the tension. In the case of Suitability for beginners, the FB02, conveys an impressive picture of the skills it takes to move such a vehicle in the struggle for tenths of seconds on the racetrack. Nevertheless, I am glad, as we roll finally, after an eternal quarter of an hour back in the Box. Bruno smiles. 2018, the Canadians for the BMW Bank will once again to a spectacular driving Event invite – but then on the Salzburg ring. And hopefully without the inhospitable winter weather.

Text: Jonas Eling
Photos: Hanna Coco

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