Overall points leader Alexander Rossi (Eurointernational) climbed to the top of the Formula BMW Americas career win category after scoring the Round 10 victory today at Road America. The 16-year old Californian won his fifth race of the season (eighth of his career), finishing 1.928 seconds ahead of teammate Adrien Tambay, a Formula BMW Junior guest driving from the European series, in the 10-lap contest around the classic 4.048-mile, 14-turn circuit. Rookie Mikael Grenier (Apex-HBR Racing Team), also a Formula BMW Junior driver, had a fine drive from the seventh starting position to finish third.
Apex-HBR teammate and fellow Formula BMW Junior Alexandre Ruiz finished fourth, equaling his career-best Formula BMW finish. Giancarlo Vilarinho (Eurointernational) finished fifth.
Polesitter Rossi got away cleanly at the start to lead the field into turn 1. Tambay, from third, got past Ruiz on the first lap and began a race-long battle with Rossi. He took the lead on the second lap with a strong pass in turn 3, but three laps later Rossi was back to the point, with Goncalvez, Ruiz and Grenier making it five in the lead group. On lap six Grenier briefly took second, but Tambay regained the position. Tambay set the fastest lap of the race on lap 9 to close to within .353 seconds of Rossi as they crossed the start-finish line to begin the last lap. A small off in turn 1 took away any chance for Tambay to make one more try on Rossi. The win was Rossi's fifth of the season and gives him the pole for tomorrow's Round 11 race. The rest of the Round 11 grid will follow the results of Round 10 listed below.
Rossi said, "My hope was to be able to break the draft, but that didn't happen. Adrien and I raced each other hard, but it was all good. I'm happy for my team Eurointernational, we put two cars on the podium today. Tomorrow, I'll try to do it all over again."
Tambay said, "I went from third to first in the first few laps so that was very good. At the end maybe I could have tried to pass on the last lap, but I made a small mistake in the first corner. I was happy with my position. My main focus is Europe. This was good track time for my experience."
Grenier said, "I had a little contact in the beginning of the race. After I decided that the car was okay I was able to put in some good laps. With the fast track and a bit of luck I was able to get onto the podium.
On Sunday, Rounds 11 and 12 are scheduled to start at 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. respectively.
<pre> Race - Round 10 - 10 laps 1 Alexander Rossi Eurointernational 23:06.271 2 Adrien Tambay (J) Eurointernational 23:08.199 3 Mikael Grenier (J, R) Apex-HBR Racing Team 23:10.265 4 Alexandre Ruiz (J, R) Apex-HBR Racing Team 23:10.691 5 Giancarlo Vilarinho (R) Eurointernational 23:12.009 6 Jorge Goncalvez Apex-HBR Racing Team 23:15.524 7 Gabby Chaves Autotecnica 23:15.914 8 Ricardo Favoretto Autotecnica 23:16.358 9 Maxime Pelletier Apex-HBR Racing Team 23:18.448 10 Gianmarco Raimondo (J, R) Autotecnica 23:18.725 11 David Ostella (R) Eurointernational 23:22.108 12 Corey Dalenberg Jensen Motorsport 24:43.775
J Formula BMW Junior R Rookie
</pre> -credit: bmw.usa