AP: Earl Bamber Beijing race notes

LUCKLESS WEEKEND FOR BAMBER IN BEIJING Earl Bamber of Wanganui has left Goldenport Motor Park in Beijing, China after Rounds 6, 7 and 8 of the Formula BMW Asia Championship with a mixed bag of results after a weekend in which little went his ...

LUCKLESS WEEKEND FOR BAMBER IN BEIJING

Earl Bamber of Wanganui has left Goldenport Motor Park in Beijing, China after Rounds 6, 7 and 8 of the Formula BMW Asia Championship with a mixed bag of results after a weekend in which little went his way.

The latest instalment of the series started badly for the 15 - year - old Powerbuilt Tools supported driver when an electronic problem stranded him on the circuit before he could even complete one lap in qualifying. That left the series leader dead last on the grid for the opening 20 lap race, Round 6 of the championship.

In that race he managed to fight his way to 7th place from his lowly grid position. Bamber repeatedly challenged Aaron Lim of Malaysia for 6th place during the race but could not find a way through.

Bamber had arrived in China leading both the overall championship and the Rookie Cup and despite finishing 7th on Saturday he managed to retain the championship lead by 1 point overnight from Australian Sam Abay who won the race.

In the opening race on Sunday, Round 7 of the championship, Bamber charged through the field to finish in a fine second place. From 7th on the grid Bamber was quickly up to 4th place on the opening lap. He then passed his team - mate James Grunwell and set about attacking Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo. The dice between the duo became the feature of the race and after a torrid battle Bamber managed to take second position off the Australian on the final lap to take the chequered flag 6 seconds behind race winner Abay.

In the final race Bamber was 5th on the grid but unfortunately fellow kiwi Dominic Storey and Grunwell had a coming together ahead of him on the opening lap. Bamber took evasive action but a water pipe was torn off as he took to the grass to avoid the incident. The radiator on the FB02 Formula BMW car soon emptied and Bamber suffered his first DNF (did not finish) of the series.

The results of the three rounds at Goldenport Motor Park have dropped Bamber to second in the championship after he arrived in China leading the series. He is now 26 points behind Abay. Grunwell is third on 90 points with Ricciardo just 3 points further back. However the Wanganui Collegiate student still leads the Rookie Cup with 125 points, 11 points clear of Ricciardo and 14 ahead of Grunwell.

-lb

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