PAC: Rounds 3 to 7 preview

Challenging meeting in store for Asia Pacific's finest. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- The quest to find the finest young single seater racer in Asia Pacific continues this month, with the next five races of the Formula BMW Pacific season held on two...

Challenging meeting in store for Asia Pacific's finest.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- The quest to find the finest young single seater racer in Asia Pacific continues this month, with the next five races of the Formula BMW Pacific season held on two different configurations of Malaysia's Sepang International Circuit.

The four-day race meeting begins on Thursday, May 15, with a qualifying session, and the first two 10-lap races run the following day on the full 5.54km Grand Prix circuit. Saturday will see another qualifying session for the three further rounds which will be held over 20-laps each of the tight 2.72km North track.

With very different characteristics, the two circuits will test the drivers' ability to adapt quickly to different race tracks with the corresponding changes to driving style. Says Formula BMW Pacific Instructor Chris Wassermann: "The Grand Prix circuit is one of the most challenging tracks on the calendar, with fast corners followed by slow sections. However the North track is very different. Aggressive driving is essential, and with only one long straight there is very little time to relax in the car. The circuit does not forgive mistakes as times are usually very close."

The Formula BMW Pacific season got underway in March, with the opening two rounds held as support races to the 2008 Formula 1 Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix. Sixteen-year-old Formula BMW Junior Simon Moss of South Africa (Mahara) tops the Driver Classification leaderboard after two races, with a one point margin ahead of Hong Kong's Ross Jamison (18/Meritus), who is competing in his second season having finished runner-up in the 2007 Rookie Cup. The pair took a win apiece, but the additional point for his Round 2 pole position gives Moss the edge on the championship race.

Indian racer Aditya Patel (19/Eurasia Motorsport) is second in the Rookie Cup standings after a promising start when he finished third overall in the opening round.

The 2008 Formula BMW Pacific entry includes a strong Malaysian contingent giving local fans plenty to cheer as they take to their "home" circuit for the second time. The Petronas-backed Team Holzer PFX is fielding three talented young Malaysians this season, with Imran Shaharom (20), Melvin Moh (19) each returning for a second season, and rookie newcomer Dominic Ang (18). Arvin Roslan (18) is competing with new team Mahara and is currently third in the Rookie Cup classification.

Joining them will be a truly international field of racers, including Formula BMW Junior Marlon Stockinger of the Philippines (17/Eurasia Motorsport), the single lady competitor this season Tasmin Pepper of South Africa (17/Meritus), and South American youngster Gabriel "Gabby" Chaves of Colombia competing with series newcomer Atlantic Racing Team.

Replacing Malaysian racer Huzair Harun Rasip (19) at Mahara for this event will be Formula BMW Europe driver Manzur Kazeem (16). The Italian-based Briton is currently fourth in the Rookie Cup in the European series, and will make his Asian debut this month. While Harun Rasip is sitting school examinations, Kazeem will step in to partner team mate and series points' leader Simon Moss.

Formula BMW Junior Chris Wootton of Australia (19/Meritus) hopes to make his debut with the series at the event, licensing issues having precluded his participation in the opening rounds.

-credit: fbmw pac

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Series Formula BMW
Drivers Ross Jamison , Melvin Moh , Huzair Harun Rasip , Kazeem Manzur , Arvin Roslan , Marlon Stockinger , Aditya Patel , Dominic Ang , Simon Moss , Chris Wootton , Tasmin Pepper