GIANMARCO RAIMONDO LOOKS TO PODIUM AT HOME TRACK Formula BMW Americas pilot heads back to Ontario and looks to use home track advantage to score a win in the final two rounds St. Catharines, ON - Gianmarco Raimondo, 2008 Formula BMW Americas ...
GIANMARCO RAIMONDO LOOKS TO PODIUM AT HOME TRACK
Formula BMW Americas pilot heads back to Ontario and looks to use home track advantage to score a win in the final two rounds
St. Catharines, ON - Gianmarco Raimondo, 2008 Formula BMW Americas Rookie Champion, heads to Mosport International Raceway sitting third in the points standings and looking to bounce back from a very tough weekend in Wisconsin. The famed Road America course was not kind to Gmo, even though he showed great pace in all of the on-track sessions. With the title now locked up, Raimondo will be looking to score wins on his native soil to add to his already impressive racing resume.
"The weekend at Road America was really tough. The Autotecnica team worked hard, and my car was right on the pace," comments Raimondo. "I am so glad to be heading into the final rounds at Mosport, the only Canadian track on our schedule, and I look forward to racing this great track."
Rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the Formula BMW Americas series made up the tripleheader at Elkhart Lake's interminable 4.048-mile layout, which gave several drivers in the field the chance to move to the top of the standings. Raimondo would head into the weekend challenging for second place in the overall series championship.
Race one saw the young rising star take third after a hard battle throughout the entire 30-minute event. Raimondo used a solid starting position to keep with the leaders and begin to gap the field. As Raimondo battled for second, passing on several laps, the leader began to pull out. At the line it was Raimondo crossing in third, just a few car lengths back from second, grabbing a podium spot and some valuable championship points.
In race two the second year driver would suffer a DNF, getting caught up in an on-track incident. Raimondo would retire early from second position as the car in third spot right behind Raimondo missed it's breaking point, climbed up the back of Gianmarco's car and pulling them both off the track in a spin.
In race three, once again Gianmarco was challenging for first, when both he and the race leader slid off the wet track on the first lap. Gianmarco had corrected and was resuming his place on the track when the race leader, still spinning out of control, backed into the path of Gmo, which resulted in a direct hit and an explosion. Both drivers jumped out of their cars to safety while fire marshals put out the blaze. Two more drivers also slid off track at the same time, one catapulting up the back of the one in front, causing him to spin into the air. This created significant damage to the outside catch fencing, forcing the race to end behind the safety car. The race was less than one lap long. "It was quite incredible. Seeing the burning BMW car was a bit of a shock. The fire marshals were incredibly quick to put out the blaze," comments Raimondo. "There was so much going on with four of us off track, but as they say, that's racing!"
Back to this weekend and the final two rounds of the 2009 campaign, Raimondo has tested once at the Mosport "big track" prior to running in the Formula BMW Americas series and is looking forward to actually racing on the famed track. Raimondo has consistently been quick all season, competing at the front of the field week in and week out. With the final two rounds on familiar soil, Gmo will be strong from the start and look to end his 2009 season and his Formula BMW career on the top spot of the podium.
"I am very excited to be racing at Mosport International Raceway for the two final races in the Formula BMW Americas schedule. My friends and family will be there to support me, and I am focusing on good results," smiles Raimondo.
"Team Autotecnica and I look forward to ending the series on podium."
-credit: Raimondo Racing