PAC: Series Shanghai race one report

Jamison crowned champion in Shanghai as BMW Junior takes victory. Shanghai, China -- A hard-fought podium finish in Round 14 gave Hong Kong's Ross Jamison (18/Meritus) the 2008 Formula BMW Pacific Driver championship at the Shanghai...

Jamison crowned champion in Shanghai as BMW Junior takes victory.

Shanghai, China -- A hard-fought podium finish in Round 14 gave Hong Kong's Ross Jamison (18/Meritus) the 2008 Formula BMW Pacific Driver championship at the Shanghai International Circuit today.

In what was arguably the most exciting Formula BMW Pacific race ever, the lead changed five times over the 10 laps. The non-stop drama saw Jamison start from pole, lose the advantage almost immediately, regain the lead only to take an excursion onto the grass, and then put on a charge of epic proportions to grab back the final podium place. For much of the race the talented Hong Kong racer was the fastest man on track.

Formula BMW Junior and Rookie Cup leader Simon Moss of South Africa (17/Mahara) took a superb win, his 3rd this season, ahead of 15-year-old Gabby Chaves (COL/Atlantic Racing Team), who notched up his second podium in as many races and recorded his best result of the season.

Jamison has an unassailable lead of 60 points from Sean McDonagh (19/USA/Team E-Rain), with Moss promoted to 3rd overall in the Driver Classification followed by Chaves. In the Rookie Cup standings, Moss strengthens his position with a 28 point lead from fellow Formula BMW Junior Chris Wootton (19/AUS/Meritus), and Marlon Stockinger (17/PHI/Eurasia Motorsport) 3rd.

Said Jamison: "It has been a fantastic season. It's a relief to wrap it up here and still have two races to go."

As to pre-race nerves, Jamison said they were no greater than usual: "I'm usually nervous before every race, but I think nerves are good, they keep you on your toes. I knew I had the pace to win, and I threw away a victory and didn't think I'd be able to get back on the podium. In the last couple of laps I thought I might have a chance, so I had a really big fight with Ollie (Millroy) - but it was all clean. It was the best racing we've had all season."

Said race-winner Moss: "The start was pretty hair-raising because I managed to get in front, but couldn't engage third gear and fell back, so the field caught up. I had to really work hard to climb back."

As well as putting in a stellar performance, Chaves enjoyed himself on the 5.451km Shanghai track: "It was an interesting race. It was fun as well as tough because everybody was battling so hard and trying to keep their place."

Jamison got away badly at the start, and heading into turn one lost his pole advantage. Moss grabbed the lead and was followed by Ollie Millroy (18/GBR/Motaworld), with Jamison demoted to 4th.

However, Chaves was unstoppable and got by Moss at turn three, passing Millroy on the back straight on the second lap to grab the lead. But Jamison was already fighting back, challenging Millroy for 2nd, with Moss behind the trio.

McDonagh, 5th, the only man still in contention for the title at the start of the race, was doing everything to keep his championship chances alive, despite a disappointing qualifying which saw him start from 7th on the grid. However, Team Holzer PFX driver Melvin Moh (20/MAS), 6th, was doing a sterling job keeping him at bay.

Winner of Round 13, Formula BMW Europe regular Doru Sechelariu, who is suffering with an injured knee this weekend, had a coming together with Rio Haryanto (15/IDN/Pacific Racing) and retired. Haryanto later followed suit.

Chaves held his own at the front of the chasing pack, but Jamison was determined to take both the win and the championship and got by. As the pair tussled for position, Jamison ran wide and onto the grass, and Moss seized the opportunity to take the lead ahead of Chaves. Jamison returned to the track in 5th, behind Moh and ahead of championship rival McDonagh.

Chaves took the chase to Moss while at the same time keeping Millroy firmly behind him, but Jamison was back on a charge, getting by Moh and back up to 4th.

In his absolute determination to make it to the podium, Jamison set a blistering race fastest lap of 2:12.793, passing Moh and breathing down the neck of Millroy.

On the final lap, for a few heart-stopping seconds it looked as though the battle between the champion-in-waiting and Millroy might end in tears, but the talented Jamison fought his way past cleanly and on to the podium.

The night before the race, the Formula BMW Juniors and Education & Coaching drivers met with BMW Sauber F1 driver Nick Heidfeld and test driver Christian Klien. During the question and answer session, both F1 pilots gave the youngsters some valuable tips. Said Moss: "I think their advice really helped me find some extra pace today!"

-credit: fbmw

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Nick Heidfeld , Christian Klien , Ross Jamison , Sean McDonagh , Melvin Moh , Doru Sechelariu , Ollie Millroy , Marlon Stockinger , Simon Moss , Chris Wootton , Rio Haryanto , Gabby Chaves
Teams Sauber