This weekend, DAMS raced in the eighth and last round of the 2009 Formula BMW Europe Championship, part of the Italian F1 GP meeting. The Monza circuit with its long straights and tricky chicanes was a daunting challenge for the drivers in the season’s final event. It enabled them to find out what using slipstreaming to overtake is all about!

After a couple of good weekends in Valencia and at Spa, DAMS met with less success in Italy. Despite a good qualifying session in which Jim Pla set the third-quickest time for race 1 and bagged pole position for race 2, the results were disappointing. Pla had to make do with seventh in the first race, and in the second he was eliminated in a collision. Nonetheless, he finished fifth overall in the championship.

Javier Tarancon also had a good qualifying session, and on Saturday he finished just outside the top 3. On Sunday he collided with Jim when the 2 drivers were lying third and fourth – end of story!

Côme Ledogar had a more difficult weekend. He went off in free practice, which ruined his qualifying, and his grid positions prevented him from fighting at the front.

DAMS finished its second season in Formula BMW Europe in fifth place in the teams’ classification. Although the result is a satisfying one, it could have been better with a bit more success at Monza. But the overall performances in the second half of the season have been very encouraging, and will help the team to be one of the 2010 title contenders right from the green light.

Eric Boullier, Team Manager: “First of all, congratulations to the whole team on our second year in Formula BMW Europe. We had a great second half this season, and our three drivers showed that they have the talent to shine in this category. Our recent performances are an indication that had we got the championship off to a better start, we could have aimed for the title. It’s very encouraging for next year.”

Race 1: 3rd on the grid, 7th at the finish.
Race 2: pole position, eliminated by a collision.
5th in the championship with 222 points.

“Each weekend is different. After four wins on the trot in Valencia and at Spa followed by a good qualifying session here at Monza, my season has ended on a frustrating note. On Saturday, I was fighting at the front until I spun and rejoined in fifteenth place. I went pedal to the metal to pull back places but my hopes of a podium were dashed. On Sunday, I was in fourth place when a misunderstanding with one of my team-mates led to a collision. It’s a pity as I reckon I could have finished third or fourth of the championship. I think the second half of the season showed what I’m capable of. I’d like to thank DAMS very much for the season.”

Race 1: 8th on the grid, 4th at the finish.
Race 2: 5th on the grid, 21th at the finish.
12th in the championship with 91 points.

“I was very quick in qualifying and my fourth place on Saturday gave my hopes a big boost for the next day. I made a good start and unfortunately, my race ended very early due to a collision. These things happen but it’s a shame for the team. I think I’ve grasped the specific aspects of this championship, which will help for the next step in my career.”

Race 1: 13th on the grid, 14th at the finish.
Race 2: 12th on the grid, 19th at the finish.
17th in the championship with 50 points.

“I had a tough qualifying session due to my accident in free practice. As a result, it was difficult to close the gap to the front-runners mainly because of the characteristics of the Monza circuit. The performances were very close. The first race was on a wet track and there were several collisions. I tried to make the best of the situation but it wasn’t enough.”