AP: Beijing Sunday race notes

Second China victory for Abay. Beijing, China -- Australian Sam Abay (17/Team E-Rain) notched up his second win in as many races, taking another pole-to-flag victory on Beijing's 2.3km Goldenport Circuit. Second was Kiwi and Rookie Cup driver,...

Second China victory for Abay.

Beijing, China -- Australian Sam Abay (17/Team E-Rain) notched up his second win in as many races, taking another pole-to-flag victory on Beijing's 2.3km Goldenport Circuit. Second was Kiwi and Rookie Cup driver, Earl Bamber, who had started from 7th on the grid. However, arguably the star of the show was BMW Junior Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Eurasia Motorsport) who managed to hold off the hard-charging Bamber until the final lap with a display of defensive driving that was nothing short of brilliant.

Abay's win puts him at the top of the championship leaderboard, five points ahead of Bamber. BMW Junior James Grunwell (THA/Team Meritus) retains his 3rd position, with Ricciardo now only six points adrift. The Rookie Cup positions remain unchanged.

Off the start, Abay got away well but Ricciardo was not far behind and looking to challenge for the lead, followed by Grunwell. Meanwhile, Bamber was up from 7th to 4th on the opening lap and continued the charge to Grunwell, whom he passed to go 3rd. Karting ace, Aaron Lim (MAS/Eurasia Motorsport), who had started from 6th on the grid was also a man on the move, passing first Mohammed Al Baharna (BRN/Team E-Rain) and then Grunwell to finish 4th.

In the closing stages, Abay had pulled out an impressive gap, crossing the line more than six seconds ahead of Bamber. However, it was the duel between the Kiwi and Ricciardo which had the thousands of Beijing spectators on the edge of their seats and, although Bamber finally found a way past the talented BMW Junior, Ricciardo had displayed extraordinary mental and physical stamina: "I think it's a lot harder to fight to keep a driver behind you than to chase one in front," he said. "I followed Sam for the first quarter of the race, before he pulled away. Earl eventually caught up to me and full credit to him for pressuring me into a mistake."

Ricciardo's podium finish made up for the disaster which befell Eurasia Motorsport team mate and fellow BMW Junior Dominic Storey. The 16-year-old Kiwi finished Round 6 in second place during what had been an impressive weekend for the youngster. However, a technical problem stalled him on the warm up lap and he was forced to start from the pit lane, eventually finishing the race in 7th.

-bmw.asia-

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Series Formula BMW
Drivers Daniel Ricciardo , Aaron Lim , James Grunwell , Sam Abay , Earl Bamber , Dominic Storey