AP: 2007 Asia scholarships to be decided

Qualifying open for five Formula BMW Asia Scholarships Qualifying for the five Formula BMW Asia Scholarships available for the 2007 season, worth a total of 250.000 USD, will be held from March 2 and 5 at the Bahrain International Circuit in the...

Qualifying open for five Formula BMW Asia Scholarships

Qualifying for the five Formula BMW Asia Scholarships available for the 2007 season, worth a total of 250.000 USD, will be held from March 2 and 5 at the Bahrain International Circuit in the Middle East, and entries are now open.

Each of the five scholarships up for grabs include a 50.000 USD cash contribution to the cost of a full season in Formula BMW Asia (with10.000 USD earmarked for parts), plus free participation in the proven, season-long BMW Education & Coaching Programme (E&C).

With the recent announcement by the Formula BMW Asia Teams of a 22-race, six-event, standard 2007 season package for 130,000 USD, scholarship recipients will be able to take part in the region's most prestigious single seater series for less than ever before.

The wide-ranging BMW E&C programme is the most professional of its kind available in the region, and utilises the expertise of BMW Motorsport in all areas, including driving instruction, technical knowledge, fitness and nutrition, media training, and sports management. All the tools a young driver needs to reach the very top of the sport.

The Scholarship Qualifying will include both theory and practical sessions, during which drivers will be assessed by a team of BMW Motorsport professionals.

Anyone between the age of 15 (turning 16 during the 2007 racing season) and 21 (as of January 1, 2007), is eligible to take part in the Qualifying providing they have not taken part in any international car race, and in certain single seater series. Theory includes: Shifting; braking; the "racing line"; driving physics; an explanation of flags, and an introduction to the Sporting Code. Drivers from countries covered by Formula BMW in the UK, Germany and North America must apply for Scholarships in their respective series.

As Formula BMW is searching for youngsters with the greatest all-round potential, the fastest driver on the track during the course may not necessarily clinch a coveted Scholarship: Instructors will be paying particular attention to shifting, racing line, braking, rpm/speed, and improvement during the course. The driver's age and instructor assessment will be taken into account when evaluating lap times.

Course instructors will not only be on the lookout for a glimpse of future greatness, but also for drivers who display real discipline and good sportsmanship.

All the necessary equipment will be supplied by the BMW Performance Center in Bahrain, but participants are required to bring with them FIA-authorized fireproof undergarments. A crash helmet, racing overalls, balaclava, gloves and racing shoes -- and, of course, use of the FB02 itself - will be provided.

The entry fee for the Scholarship Qualifying is 2400 USD, including race car insurance with an excess of 2000 Euros. Transportation and accommodation is additional.

The maximum number of participants is limited to 32, and eligible applicants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The latest deadline for receipt of applications is January 12, 2007). Application forms and information may be obtained from Matthijs Hoitink at matthijs@motorsportasia.com

With the support of BMW Motorsport, and all the associated benefits of decades of successful racing experience in every category, Formula BMW Asia stands head and shoulders above its competitors -- from the advanced safety and other features of the FB02 car, to the expertise of the organisers and the promotion of the series -- and its graduates are already well on the way to the very top of the sport.

The provisional calendar for 2007 features four races per weekend, plus two rounds held as official support events to the 2007 Formula 1 Sinopec Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai. The season will get underway in May following an official introductory test the previous month, and will see Formula BMW Asia travel to Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, with three meetings in China: In the country's Capital Beijing, in Shanghai, and in Zhuhai in Southern China. Five of the six events will be held as part of the Asian Festival of Speed.

Background:

Formula BMW is the world's leading entry-level championship in Formula racing. In 2007 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 several times in support of the Formula One World Championship, Formula BMW offers a worldwide stage, training through a multifaceted Education and Coaching Programme, and BMW's longstanding Junior scholarship for deserving drivers.

The FB02 race car is propelled by a 140 bhp BMW engine up to 230km/h. The design exceeds the FIA safety requirements for its class, with the BMW Motorsport developed FORS Formula Rescue Race Seat, and the mandatory HANS safety system.

From November 24 to 26, 2006 the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo will host the DELL 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.

-credit: bmw

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Series Formula BMW
Teams Sauber