BMW Newsletter 2007-08-09

Valencia hosts Formula BMW World Final again. The undisputed highlight of the Formula BMW racing calendar will take place in Valencia: From 22-25 November, the world's finest Formula BMW drivers will tussle for victory at the "Circuit de la ...

Valencia hosts Formula BMW World Final again.

The undisputed highlight of the Formula BMW racing calendar will take place in Valencia: From 22-25 November, the world's finest Formula BMW drivers will tussle for victory at the "Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo". The young drivers will also be dreaming of scooping the very special on offer: a Formula One test drive with the BMW Sauber F1 Team.

Formula BMW's spectacular season closer was also hosted on the Spanish Mediterranean coast last year. "The Formula BMW World Final 2006 in Valencia was a big success," recalls BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen. "The drivers, teams, partners and sponsors were really excited about the event, so we are delighted to be returning to Spain this year. Valencia is a very special place for us, somewhere we always like to go back to. The Team Launch for the BMW Sauber F1 Team took place there at the start of the year, as has Formula One testing. Plus, Valencia is home to the Formula BMW Racing Center, hosts World Touring Car Championship races and formed the backdrop for this year's America's Cup. The Spanish city has become something of a second home for us."

Ahead of the Formula BMW World Final, Christian Vietoris, last year's overall winner, will have the chance to drive a BMW Sauber F1 Team Formula One car. Theissen explains: "Christian thoroughly deserved this opportunity. We are extremely proud to say that Christian is already the fifth Formula BMW graduate to have been given his first Formula One experience by the team."

Vietoris is already buzzing with anticipation: ""This will be a childhood dream come true for me," says the current Formula 3 driver. "I can hardly wait to finally get to grips with the big brother of the Formula BMW. Fortunately I still have four months to prepare myself for the enormous centrifugal forces that will hit me in the F1 racer."

Good luck, Sebastian Vettel.

In Sebastian Vettel, another former Formula BMW champion has successfully made the jump to Formula One Grand-Prix-driver. A few days before the Hungarian Grand Prix, the 20-year old was given the green light by the BMW Sauber F1 Team to move to Scuderia Toro Rosso. "As our test and reserve driver Sebastian has carried out sterling work for us. Now he has been offered the opportunity to get inside a Toro Rosso cockpit. We have sponsored and coached Sebastian over a number of years. To place obstacles in his career path now would go against our concept of talent promotion," explained BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen. In his first race for Toro Rosso -- despite not even having had a chance to get in any driving practice for his new team -- Vettel finished 16th at the Hungaroring. Formula BMW wishes Sebastian Vettel all the very best on his Formula One journey.

Successful Formula BMW Experience and Recruitment days in Indonesia.

On 23 July, four local karting hotshots took part in Formula BMW Recruitment as part of the fringe programme for the Formula BMW Asia races at the 'Sentul International Circuit' in Indonesia: karting drivers Ryan Haryanto, Rama Danindro, Yulda Saputra and Al Semiawan each took the wheel of the FB02 for the first time. All four youngsters looked impressive in the Formula car. But it was Haryanto who prevailed. He now receives free entry to the Formula BMW Asia licensing course 2008, and the chance to win a Junior Scholarship for Formula BMW Asia 2008. "This is a fantastic opportunity for me, and I'm really pleased I was chosen," said the lucky winner of the prize offered by Formula BMW Asia and PT BMW Indonesia. The new 'Formula BMW Experience' event was also hosted in Sentul. Forty VIP BMW customers came to the track to test their skills as racing drivers under the tuition of Formula BMW Asia chief instructor, Chris Wassermann. On 23 and 24 July, after receiving their theory training, all the participants had the chance to complete 15 laps on the 'Sentul International Circuit'.

Youngsters on the Formula One stage.

The Formula BMW Germany drivers at the Nürburgring enjoyed a very special racing weekend. Not only did the youngsters appear in front of the huge crowds gathered to watch the Grand Prix of Europe. But they also had the chance to take a sneak look behind the scenes of Formula One. The BMW Sauber F1 Team invited the youngsters into its inner sanctum. Here, the team's engineers gave the young drivers fascinating insights into the BWM Sauber F1 Team's Formula One project. The young guns were also treated to an evening meal with Robert Kubica. Sebastian Vettel, Formula BMW Germany winner in 2004, also gave the juniors the low-down on the Formula One team during a tour of the pit. He explained how the team works with telemetry, as well as the technical components of the BMW Sauber F1.07. The event was even featured on Bavarian TV.

Formula BMW careers: Sebastien Buemi.

Another former Formula BMW driver faces the step up to the pinnacle of motorsport: at the end of June, Sebastien Buemi stepped in for Michael Ammermüller, who had injured his hand, to complete his very first Formula One test drives -- knocking up 146 laps for the Red Bull Racing team in Jerez, Spain. He put enough kilometres on the clock to earn an FIA Super Licence from the sport's global governing body. "I'd driven a Formula One car before but only on the straights. So this was the first time I'd experienced corners," said Buemi after the tests: "Towards the end of the day, my neck began to hurt. But I guess that's normal." The 18-year was also praised by Red Bull chief test engineer, Ian Morgan: "Sebastien did a good job, making no mistakes, achieving good lap times and providing useful feedback."

Recently announced:

- With the Formula GP of Indianapolis being struck off the F1 calendar for 2008, Formula BMW USA will also miss out on its races at the 'Indianapolis Motor Speedway'. Nevertheless, the greatest possible number of events in the top quality racing series will still take place. One option is to expand the racing calendar to South and Central America, a move which would also take into account the rising number of South American drivers.

- For the newly founded Formula BMW Europe, there has been nothing but positive feedback: "Formula BMW UK squads react well to the new European series," reported British magazine "Autosport", quoting, among others, Double R team boss Boyo Hieatt: "It's a great initiative, the new circuits and teams will provide a great challenge. We're looking forward to it." Even Formula One promoter Bernie Ecclestone supports the merging of Formula BMW Germany and Formula BMW UK into Formula BMW Europe from 2008: "Formula BMW represents the first step towards a career that can take a driver via GP2 up to Formula One. Six race and test drivers in F1 this year bears impressive testimony of that."

- Like Formula BMW USA, Formula BMW Europe already completed the first part of the licensing course for the 2008 season at the end of July. At the start of August, both series complete the licensing courses with the second and third (only in the case of Europe) courses for the young drivers. The licensing course for Formula BMW Asia is scheduled to take place at the end of 2007.

Thrills and spills in Formula BMW Germany.

Daniel Campos-Hull (ESP) has brought back some excitement to the title race in Formula BMW Germany. In front of huge crowds, the Spaniard clinched a memorable double, winning races eight and nine as part of the fringe programme of the European Formula One Grand Prix. One week later, Jens Klingmann (GER) secured another victory in Zandvoort, Netherlands. But he didn't finish the second race, which was won by Maximilian Wissel (GER). In the drivers' rankings, Campos-Hull (394 points) is now out front, having overtaken his team mate Klingmann (376 points). The next time the Formula BMW Germany drivers will do battle will be in Oschersleben (GER) on 25 and 26 August as part of the World Touring Car Championship.

Legris and Surtees clinch maiden wins.

The Formula BMW UK Championship at Donington Park saw two first-time winners take home the spoils. Jonathan Legris (GBR) and Henry Surtees (GBR) both crossed the rain-soaked course in first place for the very first time. "People were falling off all around me so I just tried to pick them off one by one. I kept going and suddenly realised I was leading, so I decided to stay there!" said the son of former Formula One and motorbike world champion John Surtees (GBR). At the end of July in Snetterton, the championship leaders once again set the pace with Marcus Erkisson (SWE) and Josef Král (CZE) taking the wins. It's still tight at the top of the drivers' rankings. There are just 11 points between Král (503), Henry Arundel (GBR, 494) and Ericsson (492). The next Formula BMW UK Championship race takes place on 18 and 19 August in Brands Hatch (GBR).

Ali dominates in Sentul â^À^Ó mixed emotions for Grunwell.

It was a turbulent weekend of racing for Formula BMW Asia weekend in Sentul, Indonesia. Local hero Zahir Ali (INA) dominated throughout; his three victories and third place saw him move up to third in the overall rankings on 379 points. It was James Grunwell (THA) who stole the headlines, however. He was disqualified after the second race due to an irregular technical modification. But he had secured enough points as winner of the first race to take the lead in the overall drivers' rankings with 401 points. The previous leader Jazeman Jaafar (MAS) dropped back to second place (399 points) after being disqualified for the same breach of the rules. Formula BMW Asia will be staging races 15 and 16 on 15 and 16 September at the 'Chengdu Circuit' in China.

Formula BMW USA: Four winners in four races.

The individual class of Formula BMW USA's drivers was evident in the races at Lime Rock Park (USA) and San Jose (USA). Four different drivers won the four races held over the two courses. While Sebastian Saaverda (COL) and Daniel Morad (CAN) were the winners in Lime Rock Park, two 15-year olds -- Alexander Rossi (USA) and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) -- gave sensational performances on the last weekend in July. Morad (395 points) is still the undisputed leader in the overall rankings ahead of Gutierrez (299) and Maxime Pelletier (CAN, 297). Formula BMW USA will host races 11 and 12 from 9-12 August at the Road America course in Elkhard Lake (USA).

-credit: formula bmw

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Series Formula BMW
Drivers Robert Kubica , John Surtees , Sebastian Vettel , Jonathan Legris , Sébastien Buemi , Christian Vietoris , Maxime Pelletier , Daniel Morad , Mario Theissen , Henry Arundel , Daniel Campos-Hull , Jens Klingmann , Jazeman Jaafar , Zahir Ali , Bernie Ecclestone , Alexander Rossi , Esteban Gutierrez , James Grunwell , Henry Surtees
Teams Sauber , Toro Rosso