Road America, North America's fastest permanent road course, will host Rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the 2008 Formula BMW Americas championship. Located in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Road America's 4.048 miles will challenge the young Formula BMW drivers in every one of its 14 turns.
Formula BMW has visited the circuit twice before, in 2004 and 2007. In 2004, James Hinchcliffe scored his very first Formula BMW win at Road America. He continued on to win the inaugural Formula BMW USA Rookie Championship and, in 2008, leads the Atlantic Championship. Last season, Alexander Rossi scored a win by a scant .004 seconds over Esteban Gutierrez. This year, Rossi leads Formula BMW Americas overall while Gutierrez leads the Formula BMW Europe Series.
Rossi said, "The series test at Putnam Park this week was extremely successful. The Eurointernational crew is so squared away and organized. They once again delivered a perfect car that enabled me to set a new course record for Formula BMW at Putnam. This is another boost of confidence for me and the team heading to Road America next week. Road America is one of my favorite circuits and having won there in Formula BMW last season I will work hard for a repeat and extend my lead in the championship."
Rossi has won four of the last five Formula BMW Americas races and leads Ricardo Favoretto by 19 points. Brazilian Favoretto, a Formula BMW Junior, who also has experience at Road America, switched teams following the Lime Rock Park Rounds. He will now race for Autotecnica, joining fellow Formula BMW Junior Gianmarco Raimondo. Raimondo stands third overall and leads the Rookie point standings.
Brazilian Giancarlo Vilarinho (Eurointernational) stands second in Rookie points and Formula BMW Junior Mikael Grenier (Apex-HBR Racing Team), is third.
Autotecnica will race a third FB02 at Road America for Gabby Chaves. Chaves, of Colombia, is a regular driver in the Formula BMW Pacific Series where he stands seventh overall.
<pre> Overall points standings following 9 of 17 Rounds: 1. Rossi 122 2. Favoretto 103 3. Raimondo 87 4. Pelletier 67 5. Vilarinho 54 6. Grenier 53 7. Ruiz 50 8. Goncalvez 48 9. Ostella 29 10. Jovanovic 20
Rookie points: 1. Raimondo 87 2. Vilarinho 54 3. Grenier 53 4. Ruiz 50 5. Ostella 29 6. Jovanovic 20
Team Points: 1. Eurointernational 244 2. Apex-HBR Racing Team 153 3. Autotecnica 86 4. Jensen Motorsport 20 </pre>
Two practice sessions are scheduled for Thursday, before the afternoon's 30-minute qualifying at 3:50 - 4:20 p.m. That session will determine the starting grid for Round 10. The Round 11 line-up will be determined by a driver's finishing position in Round 10. On Friday, a second 30-minute qualifying session at 11:15 - 11:45 a.m., will set the grid for Round 11. Round 10 will start at 10:00 a.m. Saturday. On Sunday, Round 11 will start at 9:00 a.m. and Round 12 will start at 4:00 p.m.
On Thursday evening Formula BMW Americas will host an open house in the Member's Lounge for teams interested in learning more about the worldwide Formula BMW program.