Overall points leader Alexander Rossi (Eurointernational) was the fastest driver in both qualifying sessions for the first and third of this weekend's three Formula BMW Americas races at Road America. Rossi, however, will only sit on the Round 10 pole. Formula BMW Junior and Rookie Mikael Grenier (Apex-HBR Racing Team) was awarded the Round 12 pole and a new qualifying record after IMSA officials determined that Rossi, Adrien Tambay and Giancarlo Vilarinho violated rule 5.7 (Unjustifiable Risk) and had their fastest laps in today's session disallowed. The grid for Round 11 will be set by a driver's finishing position in tomorrow's Round 10 race.
Alexander Rossi (Eurointernational) scored his fifth pole of the season in Thursday's red flag-shortened qualifying session for Round 10 of the 2008 Formula BMW Americas Championship. Rossi, who won a race here last season, took the pole with a lap of 2:17.806 minutes around the 4.048-mile, 14-turn Road America circuit on the checkered flag lap. A shunt by teammate David Ostella brought out a 10-minute stoppage in the middle of the session. Formula BMW Junior Alexandre Ruiz (Apex-HBR Racing Team) qualified second for the 16-year old Brazilian's best qualifying effort of the year. Ruiz was the top-qualifying Rookie driver in the field. Finishing on the podium twice in 2007 as a guest driver, Adrien Tambay (Eurointernational) returned as a guest from Formula BMW Europe, qualified third.
Rookie Giancarlo Vilarinho (Eurointernational) completes the second row qualifying fourth and Maxime Pelletier (Apex-HBR Racing Team) rounds out the top five.
Rossi said, "We led both practice sessions so I began the session with confidence. I wasn't expecting the grip to drop off the way it did. I think all the different rubber compounds from the other classes affected our tires. The red flag did not make it any easier."
Ruiz said, "The team did nice work getting my car ready for qualifying. I love this track. It is so fast, so awesome. I am very happy to begin tomorrow on the front row."
Tambay said, "I like this circuit. It is long and fast. The red flag affected my session, because after we restarted there was concentrated traffic. I only had one clear lap."
In a repeat of yesterday's qualifying session Alexander Rossi (Eurointernational) was the fastest, but IMSA officials penalized Rossi and two other drivers for Unjustifiable Risk (IMSA rule 5.7) and disallowed each of the drivers their fastest lap. Formula BMW Junior and Rookie Mikael Grenier (Apex-HBR Racing Team) was awarded his first career pole after an excellent effort. Rossi's second fastest lap of the session was good enough to leave him on the front row in second. Ricardo Favoretto (Autotecnica), who had struggled in earlier sessions to find his usual speed, began to settle in to his new team and qualified third.
Alexandre Ruiz (Apex-HBR Racing Team) continued with the success from yesterday qualifying fourth and Adrien Tambay (Eurointernational) qualified fifth.
Round 10 is scheduled to start at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow. On Sunday, Rounds 11 and 12 are scheduled to start at 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. respectively.
<pre> Qualifying - Round 10
1 Alexander Rossi Eurointernational 2:17.806 2 Alexandre Ruiz (J, R) Apex-HBR Racing Team 2:18.337 3 Adrien Tambay (J) Eurointernational 2:18.626 4 Giancarlo Vilarinho (R) Eurointernational 2:18.629 5 Maxime Pelletier Apex-HBR Racing Team 2:189.051 6 Jorge Goncalvez Apex-HBR Racing Team 2:19.118 7 Mikael Grenier (J, R) Apex-HBR Racing Team 2:19.180 8 Ricardo Favoretto Autotecnica 2:19.277 9 Gabby Chaves Autotecnica 2:19.391 10 David Ostella (R) Eurointernational 2:19.531 11 Gianmarco Raimondo (J, R) Autotecnica 2:19.574 12 Corey Dalenberg Jensen Motorsport 2:21.024
Qualifying - Round 12
1 Mikael Grenier (J, R) Apex-HBR Racing Team 2:16.676 2 Alexander Rossi* Eurointernational 2:16.737 3 Ricardo Favoretto Autotecnica 2:16.936 4 Alexandre Ruiz (J, R) Apex-HBR Racing Team 2:16.938 5 Adrien Tambay (J)* Eurointernational 2:16.995 6 Giancarlo Vilarinho (R)* Eurointernational 2:17.518 7 Gianmarco Raimondo (J, R) Autotecnica 2:17.605 8 Gabby Chaves Autotecnica 2:17.808 9 Jorge Goncalvez Apex-HBR Racing Team 2:17.820 10 Maxime Pelletier Apex-HBR Racing Team 2:17.891 11 David Ostella (R) Eurointernational 2:18.249 12 Corey Dalenberg Jensen Motorsport 2:19.916
* fastest lap disallowed as per IMSA rule 5.7
J Formula BMW Junior R Rookie [TX} -credit: bmw