PAC: Series Shanghai qualifying report

Jamison on pole for championship win. Shanghai, China -- Formula BMW Pacific championship-contender and points leader Ross Jamison of Hong Kong (18/Meritus) took pole position for Rounds 14 and 15 today at the Shanghai International Circuit, ...

Jamison on pole for championship win.

Shanghai, China -- Formula BMW Pacific championship-contender and points leader Ross Jamison of Hong Kong (18/Meritus) took pole position for Rounds 14 and 15 today at the Shanghai International Circuit, putting him literally on pole position to clinch the title this weekend.

With a 56-point lead in the championship, Jamison is looking good to take the title before the season grand finale at the Macau Grand Prix next month.

However, with 18 drivers from 15 countries and territories -- one of the strongest Formula BMW Pacific grids ever -- it is far from a foregone conclusion. The top seven drivers overall were separated by less than one second at the end of the session.

With the fastest laps of the session setting the grid for the first race, and the second-fastest the line-up for Round 15, Formula BMW Junior Simon Moss (17/RSA/Mahara), leader of the Rookie Cup standings, will line up alongside Jamison for the start of both races this weekend.

On the second row will be Formula BMW Europe racer Ollie Millroy (18/GBR/Motaworld), with Malaysian Melvin Moh (20/Team Holzer PFX) alongside him for Round 14, and the spectacular, 15-year-old Colombian Gabby Chaves (Atlantic Racing Team), on the podium in Singapore last month, alongside for Round 15.

Winner of both races in Singapore, series newcomer and Formula BMW Europe regular Doru Sechelariu (15/ROM/Mahara), will start the first race from 6th on the grid, and the second race from 5th. Chaves and Sechelariu's best session times were identical, but the Colombian set his first, giving him the better position per the regulations.

The only man who can prevent Jamison from taking the championship this weekend, Sean McDonagh (19/USA/Team E-Rain), had a disappointing outing. He will start both races from the 4th row of the grid, so will have his work cut out for him this weekend.

Despite the title being tantalisingly close, Jamison isn't letting the pressure get to him and is taking nothing for granted: "We're approaching this weekend the same as any other, with the same levels of focus and concentration," he said. "I only just made it in the session. It was very close, and my quickest lap was on the lap the chequered flag came out."

Moss, who is looking to take the Rookie Cup win and finish his debut season 3rd in the overall championship, isn't letting nerves get the better of him either: "Worrying doesn't make you go any faster!" he said after the session.

Formula BMW Pacific newcomer Alfonso "Picho" Toledano of Mexico (19/Atlantic Racing Team), considers the Shanghai track amongst his favourites, and was second in the free practice session prior to qualifying.

Another newcomer, Cao Hong Wei (15/Pacific Racing), from Hunan in China, is making his Formula BMW Pacific debut this weekend. Racing in junior single seaters for the first time this year, having graduated from karting, Cao is on a steep learning curve to get to grips with a new car, but is enjoying his first outing with the series.

Rounds 14 and 15 of Formula BMW Pacific are being held as part of the 2008 Formula 1 Sinopec Chinese Grand Prix.

-credit: fbmw pac

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Series Formula BMW
Drivers Ross Jamison , Sean McDonagh , Melvin Moh , Doru Sechelariu , Ollie Millroy , Gabby Chaves , Martin Cao