Born in São Paulo, Brazil, on 15 October 1983, as the nephew of three-time Formula One world Champion, Ayrton Senna (21 March 1960-1 May 1994), it seems that Bruno Senna Lalli had racing in his blood from the start. Pitting his skills against those of his uncle (the brother of his mother Viviane) on the family farm while racing in go-karts, it was clear to all that Bruno had great potential for a career in auto racing. The death of his uncle at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix put a stop to him pursuing a racing career at that time, and the family was dealt another blow when his father, Flávio Lalli, lost his life in a motorcycle crash in 1996.
In 2004 Bruno Senna received, as a gift from a family friend, a replica of his uncle’s 1986 Lotus 98T which he drove at the 2004 F1 Brazilian Grand Prix in São Paulo. From there his driving career took off as he competed in the last three events of the British Formula BMW Championship that year. For the following two years, Senna competed in the British Formula Three season with some success, finishing third in the standings in 2006, having earned three pole positions and five victories.
Upon switching to the GP2 series in 2007, Senna clocked up one race win, as well as two second places, ending the season eighth in the championship. 2008 proved to be a good year for Senna as he ended his second GP2 season with two victories and runner-up to Giorgio Pantano. It was in 2008 too, that Senna made his unsuccessful F1 test debut for Honda. Having missed out on an F1 drive, in 2009 Senna signed with Oreca and competed in the Le Mans Series, including the legendary Le Mans 24-hour race.
After announcing that he had signed a deal to race for Campos Meta in the 2010 F1 Championship series, the team changed hands resulting in some uncertainty as to whether contracts would be honored by the new owner, Spanish businessman José Ramón Carabante. However, on 2 March 2010, it was announced that the team’s name would change to Hispania Racing, with Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok as drivers.
When Ayrton Senna left McLaren at the end of 1993, he was quoted as having said: “If you think I’m fast, just wait until you see my nephew Bruno.” With such an endorsement, we can be sure that many will be following Bruno Senna’s career with great interest.
It’s young and exciting – it’s the Formula BMW Americas. A combination of youth, speed and talent, the Formula BMW Americas provides the ultimate starting point for aspiring auto racing enthusiasts. Youths from fifteen years of age and up can enroll and start climbing their way up the ladder to racing greatness.
It all started in the 1970s when BMW made the decision to support a junior team for the Procar series over a number of years. In doing so, they saw the need to provide a platform program that could provide the sort of education and training that young drivers needed. Between 1991 and 2001, the motor car company was also involved in the Formula ADAC Championship, where they not only provided engines but provided much needed assistance to young drivers who were progressing from go-karting to Formula racing. Many of the drivers assisted in this way later went on to compete in the international racing circuit of their choice. In fact, the past twelve years has seen more than forty different beneficiaries of their BMW ADAC Scholarships make their way into Formula 3. Ralf Schumacher is undoubtedly the most famous graduate of the scholarship program, and his success just goes to show how far young talent can go with the type of support provided through the Formula BMW Americas program.
While the Formula BMW program is only in its seventh year worldwide, it has gone from strength to strength and is now one of the top choices of karters looking to make the change from karts to race cars. The program provides aspiring young drivers off the kart tracks and provides them with three championship series in various parts of the world. The one in the Americas is certainly very popular and is currently seeing many young promising drivers receive the education and coaching that they need to become the best that they can.
BMW doesn’t just provide these young drives with financial support. They recognize that talent needs support to grow and so they are educated, coached and promoted to the greatest degree possible. In addition to this, the Formula BMW Americas races are exciting – with new young talents emerging every year to sweep the rug out from under the feet of previous favorites. So support this excellent concept; attend the races and make the most out of this excellent racing series. The Formula BMW America Series kicks-off on 16 May at Laguna Seca Raceway.