STOREY LOOKING FOR BETTER LUCK IN THAILAND Young New Zealand racing driver Dominic Storey is looking for better luck at this weekend's round of the 2006 Formula BMW Asia championship in Thailand after being laid low at the most recent round...
STOREY LOOKING FOR BETTER LUCK IN THAILAND
Young New Zealand racing driver Dominic Storey is looking for better luck at this weekend's round of the 2006 Formula BMW Asia championship in Thailand after being laid low at the most recent round in Indonesia by a bout of food poisoning.
Storey, 16, was a shadow of his former hard-charging self at Sentul in Indonesia in late July, struggling to even get in and out of his car after suffering the ill-effects, not, he is quick to point out, of a local delicacy, but a rather more prosaic meal of spaghetti bolognaise
The young Aucklander was forced to miss the majority of pre-event practice sessions because of the ailment but managed to muster enough energy to qualify, setting the seventh fastest lap time on Saturday morning.
Later that day he crossed the line in eighth place in the first of the weekend's three races, then went straight back to his hotel to rest.
Unfortunately his agony was compounded on Sunday when in the first race contact with sixth fastest qualifier Aditya Akkineni damaged his car's front wing and he struggled around to again finish eighth, then in the final he was bundled off the track and into immediate retirement by another driver on just the second lap.
"Let's just say I'd really like to put that one behind me," the kart-turned-rising-car-star said on the eve of his departure to Thailand. "Sometimes you have weekends like that and all you can do is look forward."
English expat Mark Goddard runs Eurasia, the team which Storey is driving for this year, and he says that there is no doubting his young charge's desire to make a go of a motor racing career.
"Dominic showed great determination to drive the car when he was really in no physical state to be driving round a car park let alone a race track."
Storey is the quickest of what Goddard calls the real racing car rookies (having moved straight from karts) competing in this year's Formula BMW Asia Championship, and the team is confident that it is only a matter of time before the St Kentigern College 6th former wins a a race.
"Our hope," Goddard said today, "is that Dominic will become a regular podium visitor from now on and then return to win the championship next year."
One thing in his favour this weekend is the track, a tight, narrow 2.4 km circuit similar to Goldenport in Beijing, the circuit Storey impressed at earlier in the year.
There, on a track he said reminded him of the kart tracks at home, he set the second fastest lap time in qualifying then finished second in the first race.
Heading into this weekend's round of the 2006 Formula BMW Asia Championship, the fifth of seven, young Australian driver Sam Abay has a 33-point lead in the points standings over Storey's fellow Kiwi Earl Bamber, who in turn has a 20 point buffer on 'local' driver, Thai-based Brit James Grunwall.
Grunwall has attracted most of the pre-race publicity ahead on the meeting courtesy of his profile in his adopted country and he sees himself as something of a 'poster boy' for the local karting community.
"A Thai driver needs to do really well overseas and I believe I can be that someone. There is loads of interest amongst my karting friends. I'm their 'test' case. They want to see how I do."
Formula BMW is the world's leading entry-level class in Formula racing. Up-and-coming drivers as young as 15-years-old are given the opportunity of entering motor racing with the high-tech, standard FB02 race car.
The car has been seen on the grid since 2002 and has set standards particularly on the safety technology front. BMW's 140 bhp K1200 engine is capable of propelling it to 230km/h and the car itself exceeds the FIA safety requirements for its class. BMW Motorsport has also developed the FORS Formula Rescue Race Seat especially for Formula BMW. As well as this all Formula BMW Asia drivers must use the HANS safety system.
Formula BMW series are held in Asia, Europe, the UK and the United States and in late November this year the annual Formula BMW World Final will be held at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tomo.
* Dominic Storey is proud to be one of New Zealand motor racing's Black Bullets. To find out more about our Black Bullets go to www.blackbullets.com
-credit: fast company