Chris Wootton to visit BMW Sauber F1 Team factory and Goodwood

25.06.2009: A whirlwind trip to Europe next week will see Australian Formula BMW Junior, Chris Wootton experience two very different ends of the motorsport spectrum when he visits the headquarters of the

A whirlwind trip to Europe next week will see Australian Formula BMW Junior, Chris Wootton experience two very different ends of the motorsport spectrum when he visits the headquarters of the BMW Sauber F1 Team in Switzerland and Goodwood, for the annual Festival of Speed.

The Brisbane based racer departs this weekend, where the first stop will be Hinwil. He will be taken on a behind the scenes tour of the BMW Sauber F1 Team factory as part of his status as a Formula BMW Junior.

“It’s a magnificent opportunity to be even closer to the F1 scene,” Chris said. “We’ll be taken into areas of the F1 operation that the general public wouldn’t normally get to see. Whilst it is exciting, ultimately that’s where I want my career to take me, so I consider it a step along the way.”

Following on from the BMW Sauber F1 Team factory tour, Chris will fly to England, where he will attend arguably the biggest celebration of motorsport history in the world – the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

“I wasn’t born when many of the cars that are at Goodwood were attacking the race circuits of the world, but I have a strong appreciation for the history of the sport,” the 20-year-old explained. “The Goodwood Festival of Speed is just one of those events you have to visit at least once in your life.”

Wootton says aside from the ‘sightseeing aspect’, the trip has a serious business element and will largely focus around scoping opportunities for the future.

“Although we’re only two events into this year, we really have to start formulating plans post 2009. Whilst there, we’ll certainly be evaluating what’s happening in the UK first hand and come back armed with a bit more knowledge.

“Goodwood, in particular, will give us the opportunity to speak with a lot of people. It’s the epicentre of the motorsport world that weekend. From what I’ve heard, everyone’s fairly relaxed and gets caught up in the spirit of the event, as there isn’t the pressure of a normal race weekend.”

Upon returning from Europe, Chris’ preparation for the third event of Formula BMW Pacific continues.

“Sentul is going to be a huge test for us. It’s the first time this year Formula BMW Pacific is at a track other than Sepang,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of ground to make up from the last event. Again it will feature four races, so there are plenty of chances to get our Championship back on track.”

 

WHAT IS FORMULA BMW?


Formula BMW is the world’s leading entry level open-wheel Formula racing category.

The Formula BMW FB02 weighs 465kg excluding driver. It is powered by a 1.2 litre four cylinder engine which accelerates to 100kph in less than four seconds and will hit a top speed of 230kph.

All cars are identical and innovations such as the FORS (Formula Rescue Seat) were developed by BMW Motorsport specifically for Formula BMW.

Formula BMW is conducted in three territories – the United States (Formula BMW Americas), with Formula 1 Grands Prix in Europe (Formula BMW Europe) and Formula BMW Pacific in pan-Asia.

 

WHO IS CHRIS WOOTTON?


Chris is a 20-year-old race driver from the Brisbane suburb of Birkdale. He started karting competition in 2005 and quickly showed potential – taking out Rookie of the Year honours in two classes.

At the end of 2007, Chris underwent the Formula BMW Scholarship program. He impressed the judges with not only his ability behind the wheel, but approach to the sport and fitness. He was then offered a scholarship for the 2008 Formula BMW Pacific Series.

Finishing as the second highest Rookie in the Series and seventh overall, being offered a scholarship for the second year in succession is testament to his dedication.

Aside from motorsport, Chris takes a strong interest in a majority of sports. Taking cues from his mentor – Mark Webber – he concentrates on being one of the fittest drivers around, becoming a regular in the Mark Webber Pure Tasmania Challenge. In the two Challenges he has completed, he finished in front of many well-known sportsmen and adventure racers.

Chris will chase the 2009 Formula BMW Pacific victory with Eurasia Motorsport.

 
- Matt Payne-

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25.06.2009 / MaP

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