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BMW to create Formula BMW Talent Cup

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted July 13, 2010 at 8:45 am Formula BMW

Last week, BMW Motorsport announced that they plan to drop their Formula BMW race series and start the Formula BMW Talent Cup.  Here is a blurb from the BMW Motorsport website:

The Formula BMW Talent Cup concept has two aims: to offer young racing drivers a comprehensive education and to prepare them for a professional career in motorsport. The target group are talented young drivers aged 14 and above, bringing the Formula BMW Talent Cup even closer to the junior base in karting than the current Formula BMW series. The Formula BMW FB02 will continue to be used as the race vehicle centrally operated by BMW Motorsport.

Essentially, the new talent cup will be a training program for drivers graduating from the karting ranks rather than a racing series.  The program will last one-year.  At the end of the training regimen, BMW will select one driver and fund their campaign during the next season.  With BMW financing the season, it’s likely that they will select the designated rung.  Right now the website just states, “the greatest talent will win a season in an appropriate higher race series.”

The FBMW Talent Cup is limited to 15 participants and the cost is 100,000 Euros each.

Final Thoughts:  It’s nice to see the FB02s put to use but I have a feeling there will be a ton of them just collecting dust somewhere — which is a shame.  As for the Talent Cup itself, I think it has a lot of potential.  I like the ideology and the cost is much lower than BMW’s previous programs, which means they may have learned something.  I also like the fact that they are limiting enrollment to kids without car experience, so a driver’s development will accurately stand-out at the end of the season.  The success of the program will likely depend on how fairly it is run.

I always enjoy hearing from others, so please feel free to add a comment.

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4 Comments

  1. Bob Baldwin on July 13, 2010 10:10 pm

    Will this program be coming to the USA ? If so where is the contact info?

  2. Ryan on July 14, 2010 10:30 am

    Hi Bob,

    You can contact them via email here: Talent-Cup@FormulaBMW.com

  3. Anthony on July 15, 2010 9:36 pm

    This is an interesting concept but not so sure that its a great idea. You are paying 100,000 euros to learn. How are those who need support from sponsors to enter such a program suppose to convince a potential sponsor that they will get the exposure that the sponsor is looking for, especially if you are not racing?? How is the “winner” decided? (open for “politics” maybe?) And upon paying this entry fee, there does not appear (at this point at least) any guarantee that even if you do “win” that you will actually be placed in a “higher series” since there is no mention of a specific higher series.

    What I liked about their previous program was the opportunity to win a scholarship to actually race AND learn. This at least opened the door to those who may have the talent but were not as fortunate as others to afford the program. There does not seem to be any such opportunity in this new program.

    I suspect that this is the beginning of the end of Formula BMW.

  4. Stefan on July 17, 2010 1:07 am

    Anthony: Don’t be fooled by the previous BMW program, the scholarship winners required money to win the prize as well. From what I’ve heard, some very interesting “financial standing” questions were posed, as BMW needed their Juniors to run more than 1/4 of a season which was what the $80,000 scholarship provided. So they gave a quarter of the budget, but most BMW budgets were between $250,000 and $400,000. So it really isn’t any truth to that, and BMW had never placed their drivers in higher series as well.

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