Rotterdam for the sixth time for one day only was the Dutch racing capital and arena for an extremely succesfull and sunny edition of the Bavaria City Racing. The center of Rotterdam with its curvy route was turned into a bespoke track and welcomed the likes of Petronas Mercedes GP and the infamous Scuderia Ferrari.
And as the sun set the over 500,000 spectators alongside the city route wittnessed high speed demonstrations of both Sam Bird with his Petronas Mercedes GP car and Spanish driver Marc Gene in both the Ferrari F10 and F60, which he had to drive after he wrecked ‘his’ Ferrari F10 in the wall as he attempted to turn for a burn out ending his first run premature.
During the prior press conference there was some disagreement between the drivers with regard of an event like this was merely intended to burn up some tires, regardless of the race car, or as a professional marketing platform for the thousand and thousands of fans to demonstrate them up close and personal what it is like to experience the sound and sheer power of Formula 1 cars. Or as Ferrari F1 driver Mark Gene mentioned during the Bavaria press conference:
Compared to my own previous experiences during demonstration events such as this, this is – in it’s Rotterdam form – the longest and most dynamic track that I have ever seen and experienced during a ‘road show’. It is for us drivers more common that we drive our cars up and down on long straights. But here in Rotterdam the track lay out gives you as a driver the same feeling which you would experience on a circuit and enables you to really test the car at full speed and during hard braking. So as a driver I have to compliment the organizers of the Rotterdam Bavaria City Races who were willing and able to design such an interesting demonstration track on these urban streets which are commonly used by city traffic.
Dutch and native Rotterdam – former Formula 1 – racing driver Robert Doornbos made it clear from the stand still. No matter what; he would give the spectators something to look forward to and kept his word as he not only burned his rear tyres after his flying laps through Rotterdam but also burned up his clutch while doing what he does best. Entertaining the petrol headed fans.
Despite the prior hesitation to drive as a steroid lune among them, none of the drivers, both formula 1 or privateer, was able to whitstand the temptation to leave their own personal rubbery signature on the Rotterdam tarmac. Some of them even returning to the paddock after their hot lap demo’s on nothing more than just their back rims. And the end results of what used to be a set of rear tyres. The 2011 edition of the Bavaria City Races once again was a truly inspirational demonstration of what is possible in a sport and city where not the words but the results count.
[Text and pictures via Patrick Quispel]