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Formula BMW: Hylkema's Next Career Step

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Thomas Hylkema

Formula BMW: Hylkema's Next Career Step

Anthony Fontanelle
May 24, 2007

A month from now, a young racer named Thomas Hylkema will make his official debut in the German Formula BMW championship at the street circuit of the Norisring. Hylkema will be part of the Eifelland Racing squad this season. The team has already completed its driver lineup after signing up the young racer.

Next to the Dutchman, BMW Sauber will field cars for Daniel Campos, Jens Klingmann and Tiago Geronimi. As part of his preparations, the protégé of racing driver Phil Bastiaans completed a lot tests in the Formula BMW and he is eager to make the next step in his early racing career. Monday, Hylkema got through a successful test day at the Belgian Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

In 2003, Hylkema started his racing career in a kart. A year after, he competed in the Vortex Rok. In 2005, he raced for Martijn Koene. Hylkema twice finished on the fifth place in the final championship standings. Last year, he moved to the Benelux Racing League Light and drove for the Collé Rental & Sales Racing Team.

Hylkema wanted to make the next step in his career and Formula BMW seemed to be the best choice. This is because most of the races are held as support races at the DTM, WTCC and Formula 1 weekends. Hylkema, at the Delft University of Technology, won the race at the Nürburgring and started from pole position once at Zolder. In this series he met the experienced Phil Bastiaans. The two established good friendship and camaraderie that bonded them to their passion - racing.

Bastiaans and Hylkema went to the DELL Formula BMW World Final at Valencia in Spain where the best 36 drivers of four different Formula BMW championships rivaled to bag the 'World Champion Formula BMW" title. After several talks with Eifelland Racing, Hylkema was invited for a test with the team.

"Formula BMW is a world wide renowned feeder series for young talented racing drivers. Drivers like Ralf Schumacher, Christian Klien, Nico Rosberg and more recently Sebastian Vettel found their way into F1 via the Formula BMW. Because all the races are driven during the Formula 1, WTCC and DTM weekends, the series is also sure of broad media attention,” said Hylkema.

He added, "The use of identical cars, engines, tyres and fuel for all competitors makes sure that the driver is the most important factor in this championship. It is an ideal opportunity for me to start in this series. I am now with an excellent team and have a highly experienced team owner that wants to teach me everything I need to know. After a decent preparation in which I got to know several different sorts of tracks, I am now really looking forward to finally make my debut in a Formula BMW at the Norisring!"

The Formula BMW car is powered by a powerful four cylinder/16 valve engine and is equipped with a Formula 3 sequential gearbox mated to the BMW CV boot.

Source:  Amazines.com

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