PAC: Series Singapore preview

Bumper grid for Singapore thriller. Marina Bay, Singapore -- A bumper grid full of some of the best international junior racing talent will make for a thrilling Formula BMW Pacific meeting from September 25-27, as the series supports the ...

Bumper grid for Singapore thriller.

Marina Bay, Singapore -- A bumper grid full of some of the best international junior racing talent will make for a thrilling Formula BMW Pacific meeting from September 25-27, as the series supports the 2009 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix.

Having made motorsport history in 2008 by becoming the first cars ever to race on the Marina Bay Circuit, Formula BMW Pacific is back in the Lion City, and for many amongst the field, this will be their first taste of competition on a street circuit.

Joining the regular line-up for the Singapore rounds are a number of guest drivers.

Making his Formula BMW Pacific debut on his home circuit is Singaporean Suriya Bala Kerisnan Thevar (16/Asia Racing Team). The young Singaporean has extensive experience karting in both in Asia and further afield, and aims to become his nation's most successful racing driver.

From the sister series in the USA, Formula BMW Americas, newly-crowned champion Gabby Chaves (COL/16/Eurointernational) will compete on the Marina Bay street circuit for the second time, having raced there in 2008 with Formula BMW Pacific, taking a podium finish in the second race. Chaves will be joined by Eurointernational teammates Giancarlo Vilarinho (BRA/17), runner-up in the 2009 Formula BMW Americas, Rookie Cup winner Michael Lewis (AUS/18) and runner-up James Kovacic (AUS/16).

Briton Jack Harvey (16/Eurasia Motorsport) will also compete in Singapore, having recently finished second in the Formula BMW Europe Rookie Cup, seventh in the overall Drivers Classification.

For the regular Formula BMW Pacific drivers currently doing battle for the 2009 Driver Classification and Rookie Cup titles, Singapore represents an all-important opportunity to gain valuable points before the final three races of the season.

Last month at Indonesia's Sentul International Circuit, local hero Rio Haryanto (16/Questnet Team Qi-Meritus) made a clean sweep of the weekend taking pole position and four wins, rocketing to the top of the overall leaderboard in the process.

Twelve points adrift is Rookie Cup leader Gary Thompson (IRL/17/Team E-Rain) who, in a phenomenal debut season, has been on the podium in nine of the first 10 races. The title contender is on the shortlist for the Irish Young Driver of the Year award, and he will be keen to regain the advantage over Haryanto in Singapore.

Third in the Drivers Classification is Formula BMW Junior Axcil Jefferies (ZIM/15/Eurasia Motorsport), who came away from Indonesia with three podium finishes . Jefferies' teammate and fellow Junior Chris Wootton (AUS/20) is currently 7th on the leaderboard. Competing in his second season, he is one of the few drivers who will be able to draw upon his previous experience of the Marina Bay Circuit, which could provide him with the edge.

Third Formula BMW Pacific Junior, Steel Guiliana (AUS/18/Atlantic Racing Team), has continued to improve steadily through the season, having attained his highest placing so far in Indonesia last month.

Currently fourth in the standings is Malaysian Fahmi Ilyas (17/Team E-Rain), while Haryanto's teammate Dustin Sofyan (INA/15/Questnet Team Qi-Meritus) is fifth overall.

-credit: fbmw pac

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Series Formula BMW
Drivers Michael Lewis , Giancarlo Vilarinho , Chris Wootton , Jack Harvey , Axcil Jefferies , Fahmi Ilyas , Gary Thompson , Steel Guiliana , Dustin Sofyan , James Kovacic , Gabby Chaves