Formula BMW USA - Rounds 7 & 8 - Preview

(PresseBox) (Woodcliff Lake, ) Formula BMW USA will follow the Formula One World Championship to the United States Grand Prix for Rounds 7 and 8 on June 30 - July 2. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will provide the ultimate venue for 29 eager young Formula BMW USA drivers to show some of the finest entry-level, open-wheel racing in the world. Now at the half-way point of the season, the battle for the title of 2006 Formula BMW USA champion is tightening up considerably.

After Matt Lee's (Team Autotecnica) two second-place finishes in front of the Formula One crowd in Montreal last weekend he now shares the Championship points lead with Robert Wickens (Team Apex Racing USA). Simona De Silvestro (EuroInternational), after fourth and third place finishes in Canada, stands third.

Formula BMW Germany driver Stefano Coletti (EuroInternational), racing the four Rounds in support of Formula One in Montreal and Indianapolis with Formula BMW USA, showed his best performance at the Canadian Grand Prix as he scored both poles and both victories. His successful guest appearance brings him up to the fourth position in the Championship points, followed by Canadian Daniel Morad (AIM Autosport) who rounds out the top-five.

As a result of close competition between the Rookies in the first six races, only four points now separate the top-three drivers. Maxime Pelletier (Gelles Racing) leads Morad by only two points. Sebastian Saavedra (Gelles Racing) stands third.

Pelletier showed his best performances of the season at Montreal, finishing 13th and 11th after starting 26th in both races. Doug Boyer (AIM Autosport), Ryan Phinny (Hearn Motorsports) and Yannick Hofman (HBR Motorsports Team USA) recorded their best finishes of the season at Montreal. Every young Formula BMW USA driver is getting faster and each Round is becoming increasingly competitive.

Prior to Rounds 5 and 6 at Montreal Formula BMW USA saw four different winners this season so far. Reed Stevens (HBR Motorsport Team USA) and Morad dominated the two opening Rounds at Mid-Ohio. Wickens and Lee took the checkered flags at Lime Rock Park.
Will Coletti be able to repeat his double victory in Indianapolis? Without a doubt he will face strong competition from Wickens who already knows the way to the podium at Indy with his two third place finishes in the 2005 Formula BMW USA championship.

"I am very excited going into Indy after a good weekend in Montreal," says Wickens. "My goal this weekend is to score good points both days, and hopefully find myself on the podium twice. We had pretty good speed in Indy last year so hopefully we can carry that success over to this year. Maybe this year I will find myself kissing the famous bricks!"

But how will the others with no experience on the 2.605-mile Indianapolis road circuit prepare?

De Silvestro explains, "I prepare on the Playstation as this is the only way you can learn the track before you get there. I am hoping to win in Indianapolis as I need the points."

Coletti said, "First I have to learn the track on the Playstation because I think it is a little bit more technical than the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit in Montreal. My team is working very well so with my preparation and their experience we might repeat a successful weekend."

In the last two seasons, the Indianapolis rounds provided some of the best racing of the season. With this season's competition at a fever pitch, Rounds 7 and 8 are sure to eclipse them for action and excitement.
Practice will be held on Friday, June 30 at 9:45 a.m., followed by the single qualifying session at 4:25 p.m. The Round 7 race is scheduled to start at 4:40 p.m. Saturday and the Round 8 race is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

Championship points after 6 of 14 races:
1. Robert Wickens (Team Apex Racing USA, 55), 1. Matt Lee (Autotecnica, 55), 3. Simona de Silvestro (EuroInternational, 47), 4. Stefano Coletti (EuroInternational, 42), 5. Daniel Morad (AIM Autosport, 41), 6. Reed Stevens (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 40), 7. John Zartarian (Gelles Racing, 32), 8. Race Johnson (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 27), 9. David Garza (EuroInternational, 25), 10. Sebastian Saavedra (Gelles Racing, 22), 11. Adrien Herberts (Gelles Racing, 19), 12. Doug Boyer (AIM Autosport, 18), 13. Maxime Pelletier (Gelles Racing, 14), 13. Ryan Campbell (Gelles Racing, 14), 15. Ryan Phinny (Hearn Motorsports, 8), 16. Tobias Hegewald (Atlantic Racing Team, 7), 17. Jordan Dick (Team Apex Racing USA, 6), 17. Scott Schroeder (American Spirit Grand Prix, 6), 19. Robert Thorne (Team Autotecnica, 4), 19. Yannick Hofman (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 4), 21. Philip Major (Atlantic Racing Team, 4), 22. Alex Navejar (Jensen Motorsport, 1), 23. Jules Duc (Hearn Motorsports, 0), 23. Marco Santos (Haberfeld & Walker Racing, 0), 23. Steven Guerrero (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 0), 23. David Rangel (Haberfeld & Walker Racing, 0), 23. David Farias (Jensen Motorsport, 0), 23. Joel Jackson (Gelles Racing, 0), 23. Frankie Muniz (Jensen Motorsport, 0), 23. Maryeve Dufault (Hearn Motorsports, 0)

Rookies: 1. Maxime Pelletier (77), 2. Daniel Morad (75), 3. Sebastian Saavedra (73), 4. David Garza (67), 5. Jordan Dick (55), 6. Robert Thorne (51), 7. Steven Guerrero (38), 8. Joel Jackson (32)

Winners 2006: Coletti (2), Stevens (1), Morad (1), Wickens (1), Lee (1)
Pole Positions: Coletti (2), Garza (2), Lee (1), Morad (1)
Podiums: Coletti (2), Garza (1), Herberts (1), Lee (3), Morad (2), de Silvestro (2), Stevens (2), Wickens (3), Zartarian (2)

Formula BMW is the world's leading entry-level championship in Formula racing. In 2006 the series will be held in Germany, the UK, Asia and the USA. More than 80 up-and-coming drivers, some as young as 15-years old, will compete worldwide. Racing five times in support of the Formula One World Championship, Formula BMW offers a worldwide stage, training through a multifaceted Education and Coaching Program and BMW's longstanding Junior scholarship for deserving drivers.

The FB02 race car is propelled by a 140 bhp BMW engine, reaching speeds up to 140 mph. The design exceeds the FIA safety requirements for its class, with the BMW Motorsport developed FORS (Formula Rescue Race Seat), and the mandatory HANS (Head and Neck Support) safety system.

From November 24 to 26, 2006 the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo will host the second Formula BMW World Final. Young racing drivers from the four regional Formula BMW series will compete against each other with the winner receiving a test drive with the BMW Sauber F1 Team.


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Benjamin Titz
BMW Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
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