Race - Rounds 11 & 12, Road America, August 10
Eurointernational teammates Alexander Rossi and Formula BMW Junior Adrien Tambay divided the bulk of the podium positions scored in Formula BMW Americas first ever three-race weekend. Rossi took the Round 10 and 11 victories from the pole. Tambay scored the Round 12 win after finishing in the runner-up spot in the previous two Rounds.
Overall points leader Alexander Rossi (Eurointernational) scored his second consecutive victory at Road America with this morning's Round 11 race win. Starting from the pole earned from his Round 10 victory yesterday, the 16-year old Californian led every lap, setting a new race record of 2:16.636 minutes on the penultimate lap of the 10-lap race, on the way to a 1.321 second winning margin over teammate Formula BMW Junior Adrien Tambay. Rookie and Formula BMW Junior Alexandre Ruiz (Apex-HBR Racing Team) finished third, the first Formula BMW podium ever for the young Brazilian.
Gabby Chaves (Autotecnica), a guest driver from the Formula BMW Pacific series, finished fourth. Ricardo Favoretto, now driving for Autotecnica, rounded out the top-five finishers, to consolidate his hold on second place in the overall point standings.
At the front of the field Rossi got away cleanly, but a little farther back three drivers, Mikael Grenier (Apex-HBR Racing Team), Giancarlo Vilarinho (Eurointernational) and Corey Dalenberg (Jensen Motorsport) jumped the start causing Tambay, from third, and Ruiz, from fourth, to have to defend their positions. Ultimately the three were called to the pits for a drive through penalty and Tambay and Ruiz raced to catch Rossi who had opened up 1.3 second gap. While Ruiz battled a charging Chaves in fourth, Tambay closed to within .624 seconds of Rossi by lap eight. Unable to come any closer, Tambay settled for his second runner-up finish of the weekend.
Rossi said, "The start went as good as I hoped and I was able to open a good gap. I tried not to make any mistakes, but Adrien was right on me. He is a talented driver and has a great car. I tried to look in my mirrors as little as possible and focus on the win."
Tambay said, "The race was good, but a false start by another driver made it difficult from my position. Alexander put a big gap and then I put big pressure by staying close behind him. I had some good laps out there today."
Ruiz said, "I am really happy. This is my first year and my first podium. I expect to keep improving after this."
Formula BMW Junior Adrien Tambay (Eurointernational), guest driving from the Formula BMW Europe series, won Round 12 of the 2008 Formula BMW Americas Championship today at Road America. Runner-up in the two previous Rounds here this weekend, Tambay finished 1.374 seconds ahead of fellow Formula BMW Junior Mikael Grenier (Apex-HBR Racing Team) in the 10-lap race. Grenier's second podium appearance of the weekend was his career-best Formula BMW result. Also having the best weekend of his career was the Apex- HBR teammate Alexandre Ruiz, also a Formula BMW Junior. Ruiz finished third, his second consecutive podium.
Formula BMW Pacific driver Gabby Chaves (Autotecnica) and Alexander Rossi (Eurointernational) finished fourth and fifth respectively. Following the race, IMSA officials assessed a 30-second penalty to both drivers for violating IMSA code 5.7 (unjustifiable risk) ultimately resulting in them moving to tenth and eleventh.
Grenier, from his first career pole, lead the opening three laps with Rossi following close behind. On lap two, Raimondo, in seventh, had contact with Vilarinho, in eighth but spun, but his car was able to be removed so that the race could continue under green. Tambay got by both Rossi and Grenier on lap four, as Chaves moved up to third and Rossi fell back to fourth. Grenier, Ruiz, Chaves and Rossi continued to battle allowing Tambay to open a healthy gap at the front. Rossi got by Chaves for fourth on lap seven, but had to relinquish the position on the final lap as Tambay earned a well-deserved first Formula BMW Americas win.
Tambay said, "It was amazing race, from fifth on the grid to my first win in America! Three times on the podium and one win - what can I say, it was a perfect weekend!"
Grenier said, "I think it was a good race. I had pretty good start and it was nice battling with everyone. I'm quite happy to podium twice this weekend and gain first place points in this race. This was my first pole, and I'm sure it won't be my last."
Ruiz said, "I am happy today. I had a good fight, especially in the last lap. I'm happy my teammates took really good care of my car. I'm looking forward to the next race."
The next three Rounds of the 2008 Formula BMW Americas Championship will be held at New Jersey Motorsports Park, in Millville, NJ on September 27 and 28th.
<pre> Race - Round 11 - 10 laps
1 Alexander Rossi Eurointernational 22:58.061 2 Adrien Tambay (J) Eurointernational 22:59.382 3 Alexandre Ruiz (J, R) Apex-HBR Racing Team 23:03.350 4 Gabby Chaves Autotecnica 23:04.509 5 Ricardo Favoretto (J) Autotecnica 23:16.732 6 Jorge Goncalvez Apex-HBR Racing Team 23:18.785 7 Gianmarco Raimondo (J, R) Autotecnica 23:21.840 8 David Ostella (R) Eurointernational 23:23.127 9 Mikael Grenier (J, R) Apex-HBR Racing Team 23:43.787 10 Giancarlo Vilarinho (R) Eurointernational 23:58.554 11 Maxime Pelletier Apex-HBR Racing Team 18:38.616 NR 12 Corey Dalenberg Jensen Motorsport 17:05.045 NR
Race - Round 12 - 10 laps
1 Adrien Tambay (J) Eurointernational 23:13.804 2 Mikael Grenier (J, R) Apex-HBR Racing Team 23:15.178 3 Alexandre Ruiz (J, R) Apex-HBR Racing Team 23:15.956 4 Ricardo Favoretto (J) Autotecnica 23:21.484 5 Giancarlo Vilarinho (R) Eurointernational 23:22.457 6 Jorge Goncalvez Apex-HBR Racing Team 23:29.630 7 David Ostella (R) Eurointernational 23:29.871 8 Maxime Pelletier Apex-HBR Racing Team 23:31.878 9 Corey Dalenberg Jensen Motorsport 23:35.041 10 Gabby Chaves* Autotecnica 23:47.239 11 Alexander Rossi* Eurointernational 23:47.264 12 Gianmarco Raimondo (J, R) Autotecnica 04:45.363 NR
*assessed 30-second penalty for violations of IMSA rule 5.7
J Formula BMW Junior R Rookie
Overall points standings following 12 of 17 Rounds: 1. Rossi 165 2. Favoretto 133 3. Raimondo 98 4. Grenier 93 5. Ruiz 92 6. Pelletier 77 7. Vilarinho 77 8. Goncalvez 74 9. Ostella 43 10. Jovanovic 20 11. Dalenberg 4
Rookie points: 1. Raimondo 98 2. Grenier 93 3. Ruiz 92 4. Vilarinho 77 5. Ostella 43 6. Jovanovic 20
Team Points: 1. Eurointernational 316 2. Apex-HBR Racing Team 240 3. Autotecnica 127 4. Jensen Motorsport 24
</pre> -credit: bmw