Impressive run of success gives Haryanto the title. The Formula BMW Pacific title has been decided ahead of the season finale in Macau (CN): Rio Haryanto (ID) from Questnet Team Qi-Meritus scored maximum points in both races in Okayama (JP) to...
Impressive run of success gives Haryanto the title.
The Formula BMW Pacific title has been decided ahead of the season finale in Macau (CN): Rio Haryanto (ID) from Questnet Team Qi-Meritus scored maximum points in both races in Okayama (JP) to secure overall victory in the successful junior series. The 16-year-old did have to settle for second in both races, which shared the bill with the FIA World Touring Car Championship, having been beaten to the line both times by Eurointernational driver Facundo Regalia (ES). However, as no points were awarded to guest drivers, Haryanto's two second-place finishes were sufficient to open up an insurmountable lead in the Drivers' Championship. The Indonesian driver brought his points tally to 229 -- 49 more than his closest rival Gary Thompson (IR/E-Rain Racing).
"I'm very happy," said a delighted Haryanto after his triumph."It's been a very long season, a very tough season and to win is just fantastic. Honestly, I didn't think I would earn maximum points for nine straight races, but after Sepang and winning four races in Indonesia, it just kept going." This impressive consistency was the key to Haryanto's success: the youngster ranked behind rookie Thompson and Formula BMW Junior Axcil Jefferies (ZW/Eurasia Motorsport) five races into the season. He then set out on a remarkable run of victories that ultimately earned him the title.
Not only in the Driver's Championship the Okayama races produced an overall winner: Thompson was crowned "Rookie of the Year" and is now guaranteed second overall, while Questnet Team Qi-Meritus secured victory in the "Team Trophy". Jefferies ends his first season of single-seater racing in third place in the drivers' classification.
Regalia, who celebrated his maiden Formula BMW victory, and Haryanto were joined on the podium by Thompson after the 13th race of the season. In the second race in Japan, guest driver James Kovacic (AU/Eurointernational) finished third on a wet track to complete the podium line-up.
Grand finale in Macau.
Although Rio Haryanto has already been crowned champion in this year's Formula BMW Pacific series, the season finale on 22nd November still promises to be extremely exciting. The legendary "Guia Circuit" provides the young drivers' final opportunity to pick up points and claim victory. "Macau is an interesting track," says Haryanto. "There will be some really good drivers there so I will try my best. Now I have nothing to lose, so I will go all-out and try to get onto the podium."
Among those lining up in Macau will be the newly crowned Formula BMW Europe champion Felipe Nasr (BR), who will represent the Eurointernational team in the former Portuguese colony. Last season the podium was occupied by three guest drivers at the finale of the Formula BMW Pacific series: Mihai Marinescu (RO) won ahead of Michael Christensen (DK) and Kimiya Sato (JP).
From Formula BMW to Formula One: Nico Huelkenberg.
Last season five former Formula BMW drivers lined up in Formula One -- and with great success. Nico Rosberg, Timo Glock, Adrian Sutil (all DE) and Sebastien Buemi (CH) all scored World Championship points. Sebastian Vettel (DE) even celebrated four Grand Prix victories and finished second in the World Championship, behind Jenson Button (GB).
While many seats are still up for grabs one new face in Formula One has already been confirmed: Nicolas Huelkenberg (DE). The 22-year-old won the Formula BMW ADAC Championship back in 2005 and, five years later, will now occupy a regular place on the grid at the pinnacle of motor racing with the WilliamsF1 team.
Huelkenberg, who won the GP2 title in 2009, is looking forward to the new challenge, saying: "It's difficult to say at the beginning of a Formula One career where it will take you. The rookie season is always very unpredictable, but I am determined to soak up as much as I can, and also learn from my experienced team mate Rubens Barrichello."
The signs all point towards a successful Formula One career: wherever he has competed, Huelkenberg has promptly celebrated success. After winning the Formula BMW ADAC Championship he won races in the German Formula 3 championship, the Formula 3 Euro Series and the A1GP series. In 2008 Huelkenberg secured the Euro Series title before taking overall victory in GP2 at the first attempt. He must now wait for his first Grand Prix in Bahrain on 14th March 2010. "That's really hard to swallow. The season has just finished and everybody is longing for a vacation, and I am burning to start racing," says Huelkenberg. "So patience is what I need at the moment."
Interesting facts from the 2009 Formula BMW season.
The Formula BMW season is drawing to a close. Ahead of the final race in Macau, we have put together some interesting facts and figures from the 2009 season.
>> 44 races have been contested in 2009 by the talented youngsters in Formula BMW.
>> 65 drivers from 29 countries have raced this season.
>> 15 different drivers have celebrated as winners.
>> Felipe Nasr and Giancarlo Vilarinho crossed the finish line as winners on 7 occasions -- more than any other Formula BMW driver this season.
>> Vilarinho started from pole position 9 times. The Brazilian leads in this statistic, ahead of Nasr, who started from the front of the grid on 8 occasions.
>> Nasr set the fastest lap 8 times this year. This makes him top Formula BMW driver of the year in this category.