By Mattias Persson
Throughout the autumn, www.felixracing.se will be running a series of articles where we look back at some of Felix's previous rivals - and chart where their careers have taken them by 2012. A new profile will be introduced every seven days. This week: Mathias Beche.
Raced against Felix: 2007-2008 (Asian Formula Renault, Formula Asia 2.0)
Today: Second in class and eighth overall in this year's Le Mans 24 Hours; race winner in the European Le Mans Series
Swiss Mathias Beche took the step from karting into single-seater racing at the same time as Felix, and he did so with an assault on the same championship; Asian Formula Renault.
With a calendar that featured races well outside the European limelight in China and Malaysia, Beche and Felix were able to learn the basics of the sport in a laidback environment, with Felix ending the 2007 campaign as Rookie of the Year in fourth overall with Beche in fifth. The following season saw the European duo go all-out for the title in Formula Asia 2.0 - Asia's premier Formula Renault championship - with Felix eventually claiming the crown having won 10 out of the total 15 races.
Upon his return to Europe, Beche has quickly established himself as the man of the moment on the international sports car scene. Strengthened by important victories at Spa and Estoril in 2011, the current season has seen Beche take yet another step towards the very top echelon of prototype racing, notably winning the European Le Mans Series curtain-raiser at Paul Ricard in France. The undisputed highlight, however, came in the legendary Le Mans 24 hour race in June, as Beche - along with team-mates Christophe Tinseau and Pierre Thiriet - shocked the establishment by finishing a highly impressive eighth overall (and second in the LMP2 category) in the world's most famous endurance classic.
Previously: Rio Haryanto, Jean-Éric Vergne, Kevin Magnussen, James Calado, Laurens Vanthoor
Read more about Mathias Beche - and everything else connected to Felix's career on the road to Formula 3 Euro Series - in the Felix Racing news archive.
Beche (left) together with Felix at Shanghai in 2008