Formula BMW Americas Announces 2009 Schedule

Formula BMW Americas announced today five race weekends as part of the Championship's 2009 schedule. Confirmed are four events in North America with the American Le Mans Series to support the return of the BMW M3 to ALMS competition. For a second consecutive year, the season will end at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Formula BMW Americas will join the ALMS at Miller Motorsports Park, in Tooele, Utah, on May 15 - 17; Lime Rock Park, in Lakeville, Conn., on July 17-18; Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wis., on Aug. 14-16; and Mosport International Raceway, in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, on Aug. 28-30. The season will end at the Brazilian Grand Prix, on Oct. 16-18.

Broadening the scope of series and on the heels of the first North American Formula BMW World Final in Mexico City, two venues south of the border are being negotiated to get the sixth season of Formula BMW Americas competition started.

A comprehensive testing schedule is being arranged with dates already scheduled prior to Rounds at Miller Motorsports Park, Road America and Mosport International Raceway.

"Formula BMW Americas, as part of the international Formula BMW program, has become solidly established in its first five seasons," said Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director. "The alignment with the Formula One World Championship is the foundation to the program and is unique among entry-level racing series. No other series offers the level of preparation that Formula BMW does with offerings such as our Education and Coaching program. Our Formula BMW Junior scholarship program gives drivers with talent, but limited funds, the ability to start their careers. Finally, Formula BMW has the commitment of one of the world's strongest brands. BMW is firmly behind the program and is pleased to see the level of interest in both new drivers and teams for the 2009 season."

With the conclusion of the 2008 season, Formula BMW Americas has given more than one hundred young drivers their start in open wheel racing. Alexander Rossi, of Nevada City, Calif., and Gianmarco Raimondo, of St. Catherine's, Ontario, won the Overall and Rookie titles respectively this year and will no doubt join the long list of successful Formula BMW alumni. Formula BMW Americas alumni include Graham Rahal, Tommy Milner, Brian Frisselle, Jonathan Summerton, James Hinchcliffe, Robert Wickens, David Garza and Daniel Morad.

In addition to the first international coverage of Formula BMW Americas race recaps during Formula 1 broadcasts in over 80 countries, a review of the 2008 Formula BMW Americas season is scheduled to be broadcast on SPEED channel on Sunday, December 28 at 6:00 p.m. ET.

-credit: bmw