Series newsletter 2008-11-06

Formula BMW Americas: Alexander Rossi conquers all. The 2008 Formula One season ended with an incredible race in Interlagos, and the youngest World Champion in the history of Formula One. Formula BMW Americas, which reached its conclusion as...

Formula BMW Americas: Alexander Rossi conquers all.

The 2008 Formula One season ended with an incredible race in Interlagos, and the youngest World Champion in the history of Formula One. Formula BMW Americas, which reached its conclusion as part of the support programme for the Brazilian Grand Prix, also produced a remarkable champion: Alexander Rossi (US). The 17-year-old not only secured the title, but also enjoyed a perfect race weekend: two pole positions and two start-finish victories in races 16 and 17 of Formula BMW Americas.

This season has seen Rossi claim no less than ten victories his EuroInternational team, which also celebrated a double victory in the final race. "Fantastic", said the jubilant Californian. "There is no better way to finish the season than with a one-two sweep for EuroInternational. I have to thank the team. I had the perfect car all weekend. I am just very happy." Luis Felipe Nasr provided the positive surprise of the weekend. The guest starter from Brazil finished fifth in the first race in Interlagos, and then drove his way onto the podium, finishing third in his second race. "It was great to be on the podium for the first time in front of the Brazilian fans," said Nasr after the race. "It is great to get some experience in the cars, and maybe I will race in Formula BMW next year."

The Rookie Championship was still wide open going into the final race of the season. In an exciting finish, fifth place was sufficient for Formula BMW Junior Gianmarco Raimondo (CA) to claim the title. This was the second Rookie title in succession for Raimondo's Autotecnica team, after Esteban Gutierrez (MX) was crowned the best newcomer last season. "It was a really tight battle, coming down to the final race," said Raimondo. "I am leaving now, having done what I came to do. Being Rookie Champion is great."

Ross Jamison wins Drivers' Championship in Formula BMW Pacific.

Ross Jamison (HK) was crowned the first Formula BMW Pacific champion before the finale to the 2008 season, which this year took place at the legendary "Guia Circuit" in Macau. The 18-year-old secured his position at the top of the Drivers' Championship by finishing runner-up in the 14th race of the season, which formed part of the support programme for the Formula One Grand Prix in Shanghai. "It has been a fantastic season," said Jamison after his triumph. "It's a relief to wrap it up here and still have two races to go."

Two more drivers were in the spotlight at the Chinese Grand Prix: Ollie Millroy (GB) and Simon Moss (ZA) both claimed race victories at the "Shanghai International Circuit". Moss had two reasons to celebrate: his second place in the 15th race of the season meant that nobody could prevent him from being crowned "Rookie of the Year". Before the race, Moss and the other Formula BMW Juniors and participants at the BMW Motorsport training and coaching programme were given the opportunity to meet Nick Heidfeld and Christian Klien. The two BMW Sauber F1 Team drivers passed on some valuable tips to the BMW drivers in a question and answer session. "I think their advice really helped me find some extra pace today," said Moss.

Shortly after the race, the newly crowned Rookie Champion was already looking forward to the season finale in Macao, which forms part of the programme for the finale of the World Touring Car Championship on 16th November. He said: "Having wrapped up the Rookie championship, I can be a lot more confident going in to Macau. I can push even harder there now. Winning at Macau would be just as good as winning the Rookie Cup."

Formula BMW Juniors under starter's orders.

Five motorsport talents have qualified for the exclusive sponsorship programme for the 2009 Formula BMW Europe season. At a scholarship course in Valencia, Spain, the two Dutchmen Jack Te Braak and Robin Frijns were selected, along with Switzerland's Riccardo Galli and George Katsinis of Greece. The fifth driver to be awarded the BMW sponsorship package is 2008 "Rookie of the Year" Michael Christensen (Denmark).

The Juniors will receive special support from BMW throughout the 2009 motorsport season. All five drivers can look forward to financial support, amounting to 75,000 Euros, and a place on the BMW Motorsport training and coaching programme.

New content for Formula BMW website.

Right on time for the finale of the Formula BMW series and before the season highlight, the Formula BMW World Final, the official Formula BMW website presents numerous new features. Among other things, picture galleries with the best photos from the 2008 season can now be found at www.formulabmw.com. You can also download wallpaper with spectacular images from the global, junior race series to your own computer.

Furthermore, the website contains new information on the Formula BMW World Final, which takes place in Mexico City for the first time in 2008. A countdown shows the remaining time before the much-awaited highlight of the season on 6th December. When the most talented youngsters from the three Formula BMW racing series finally pit their wits against each other, race reports and results will keep visitors up-to-date with events in Mexico.

New talent wanted for Formula BMW Pacific.

Three talented junior drivers are being offered the chance to take an important step in their motorsport careers. Three BMW Juniors for the 2009 Formula BMW Pacific season are to be selected at a scholarship course, which is being held at the "Sepang International Circuit" in Kuala Lumpur (MY) from 17th to 19th December.

In the past, this kind of BMW Motorsport sponsorship programme has often proven to be the decisive foundation for talented karting drivers wanting to make the step up to Formula sport. The BMW Juniors take part in the BMW Motorsport training and coaching programme. Furthermore, BMW offers financial support to the tune of 50,000 Euros to the juniors.

In order to enjoy this valuable sponsorship, the only one of its kind in the Asian-Pacific region, the young drivers must do more than simply impress with fast lap times at the venue for the Formula One Grand Prix in Malaysia. Their behaviour away from the racetrack, willing to learn, and commitment are all crucial factors, and are taken into consideration when awarding the sponsorship.

Formula BMW Careers: Earl Bamber.

Earl Bamber's stay in Formula BMW Asia, the predecessor to today's Formula BMW Pacific, lasted just one year. At just 16 years of age, he stamped his authority on the 2006 season right from the word go. He started the season as a rookie, and ended it as the champion.

The New Zealander was not only the best newcomer, but also won the Drivers' Championship at his first attempt. In 19 races, Bamber took pole position ten times, achieved 14 podium finishes, and won 10 races. The following year he remained loyal to his team Meritus, and raced in the Formula V6 Asia series. With five victories from the eight races so far, he is on track to win the Formula V6 Asia title in just his second season.

In 2008, Bamber has also made the breakthrough onto the international motorsport scene: he now lines up for his homeland of New Zealand in the A1GP series. After two races, Bamber has achieved two podium finishes and currently lies third in the championship. After his successful start to the season, Bamber said: "I'm so happy for A1 Team New Zealand to open the championship in this way." He also demonstrated his talent as a guest starter at the International Formula Masters in Imola: He claimed victory in his first race in this championship.

Asian GP2 provides the New Zealander's third racing outlet for 2008. Things are looking up for him here too, as he lies fourth overall after just two races. This impressive performance has caught the eye of the international, specialist press.

-credit: fbmw

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Nick Heidfeld , Christian Klien , Ross Jamison , Alexander Rossi , Esteban Gutierrez , Earl Bamber , Michael Christensen , Simon Moss , Gianmarco Raimondo , George Katsinis , Jack Te Braak , Robin Frijns , Felipe Nasr
Teams Sauber