Bumper grid for Singapore thriller.

15.09.2009: A bumper grid full of some of the best international junior racing talent will make for a thrilling Formula BMW Pacific meeting from September 25-27, as the series supports the 2009 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix

Formula BMW Pacific Preview - Rounds 11 and 12

A bumper grid full of some of the best international junior racing talent will make for a thrilling Formula BMW Pacific meeting from September 25-27, as the series supports the 2009 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix.

Having made motorsport history in 2008 by becoming the first cars ever to race on the Marina Bay Circuit, Formula BMW Pacific is back in the Lion City, and for many amongst the field, this will be their first taste of competition on a street circuit.

Joining the regular line-up for the Singapore rounds are a number of guest drivers.

Making his Formula BMW Pacific debut on his home circuit is Singaporean Suriya Bala Kerisnan Thevar (16/Asia Racing Team). The young Singaporean has extensive experience karting in both in Asia and further afield, and aims to become his nation’s most successful racing driver. 

From the sister series in the USA, Formula BMW Americas, newly-crowned champion Gabby Chaves (COL/16/Eurointernational) will compete on the Marina Bay street circuit for the second time, having raced there in 2008 with Formula BMW Pacific, taking a podium finish in the second race.  Chaves will be joined by Eurointernational teammates Giancarlo Vilarinho (BRA/17), runner-up in the 2009 Formula BMW Americas, Rookie Cup winner Michael Lewis (AUS/18) and runner-up James Kovacic (AUS/16).   

Briton Jack Harvey (16/Eurasia Motorsport) will also compete in Singapore, having recently finished second in the Formula BMW Europe Rookie Cup, seventh in the overall Drivers Classification.

For the regular Formula BMW Pacific drivers currently doing battle for the 2009 Driver Classification and Rookie Cup titles, Singapore represents an all-important opportunity to gain valuable points before the final three races of the season.

Last month at Indonesia’s Sentul International Circuit, local hero Rio Haryanto (16/Questnet Team Qi-Meritus) made a clean sweep of the weekend taking pole position and four wins, rocketing to the top of the overall leaderboard in the process.

Twelve points adrift is Rookie Cup leader Gary Thompson (IRL/17/Team E-Rain) who, in a phenomenal debut season, has been on the podium in nine of the first 10 races. The title contender is on the shortlist for the Irish Young Driver of the Year award, and he will be keen to regain the advantage over Haryanto in Singapore.

Third in the Drivers Classification is Formula BMW Junior Axcil Jefferies (ZIM/15/Eurasia Motorsport), who came away from Indonesia with three podium finishes .  Jefferies’ teammate and fellow Junior Chris Wootton (AUS/20) is currently 7th on the leaderboard.  Competing in his second season, he is one of the few drivers who will be able to draw upon his previous experience of the Marina Bay Circuit, which could provide him with the edge.

Third Formula BMW Pacific Junior, Steel Guiliana (AUS/18/Atlantic Racing Team), has continued to improve steadily through the season, having attained his highest placing so far in Indonesia last month.

Currently fourth in the standings is Malaysian Fahmi Ilyas (17/Team E-Rain), while Haryanto’s teammate Dustin Sofyan (INA/15/Questnet Team Qi-Meritus) is fifth overall.

Provisional Championship Points Tables after Round 10.

Drivers


1. Rio Haryanto (INA/Questnet Team Qi-Meritus) 146 points; 2. Gary Thompson (IRL/E-Rain Racing) 134 points; 3. Axcil Jefferies (ZIM/Eurasia Motorsport) 124 points; 4. Fahmi Ilyas (MAS/E-Rain Racing) 74 points; 5. Dustin Sofyan (INA/Questnet Team Qi-Meritus) 70 points; 6. Akhil Khushlani (IND/E-Rain Racing) 67 points; 7. Chris Wootton (AUS/Eurasia Motorsport) 40.5 points; 8. Dominic Ang (MAS/Team Holzer PFX) 34 points; 9. Calvin Wong (MAS/Team Holzer PFX) 32 points; 10. Steel Guiliana (AUS/Atlantic Racing Team) 13 points; Fahad Algosaibi (KSA/E-Rain Racing) 12.5 points; 12. Muhamad Alif Jafri (MAS/17/Team Holzer PFX) 10 points; 13. Cao Hong Wei (CHN/Ao’s Racing Team) 8 points; 14. Aditya Patel (IND/Atlantic Racing Team) 5 points; 15. Zhu Huan (CHN/Questnet Team Qi-Meritus) ½ point.

                  

Rookie Cup

1. Thompson, 146 points; 2.Jefferies, 124 points; 3. Ilyas, 74 points, 4. Sofyan, 70 points; 5. Wong, 32 points; 6. Guiliana, 13; 7. Algosaibi 12.5 points; 8. Jafri, 10 points.

 

Teams

1. Questnet Team Qi-Meritus, 239.5 points; 2. E-Rain Racing, 216.13 points; 3. Eurasia Motorsport, 197.25 points; 4. Team Holzer PFX, 112.5 points; 5. Atlantic Racing Team, 94.5 points; 6. Ao’s Racing Team, 42 points; 7. Motaworld Racing, 6 points

 
Background:


Formula BMW is the world’s leading entry-level series in formula racing. In 2009 the three Formula BMW series – Formula BMW Europe, Formula BMW Pacific and Formula BMW Americas – will be held in the key motor sport markets of Europe, pan-Asia and North and South America. Formula BMW will be regularly held in the support programme of Formula One. The series gives young racing talents the chance to enter professional motor sport in a safe racing car – the Formula BMW FB02.

The FB02 has been in use since season 2002. It is powered by a 140 hp BMW engine that takes it to a top speed of up to 230 km/h. It ranks among the safest vehicles in its category and exceeds the FIA safety regulations that govern this class of car. Innovations such as the FORS (Formula Rescue Seat) were developed by BMW Motorsport specifically for Formula BMW. Following Formula One, Formula BMW was the first single-seater series outside the US in which the HANS system was made mandatory.

Formula BMW drivers have the opportunity to take part in an Education and Coaching Programme that runs parallel with the racing season. The programme includes driver coaching at the races by professional race drivers, attending a Formula One test, fitness courses, tuition in driving technique and strategy, as well as seminars on sponsoring and sport management.

Among the 20 team drivers in this season’s Formula One, there are now five Formula BMW graduates: Nico Rosberg, Adrian Sutil, Sebastian Vettel, Sebastién Buemi and Timo Glock.


- Nikki Kemp, HongKong -

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15.09.2009 / MaP

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