UK: Patrizi to compete in 2006

Patrizi secures BMW deal for 2006 Young Australian racing driver Michael Patrizi has taken a giant leap in his motor racing career in securing a fully funded BMW Motorsport deal to compete in the 2006 Formula BMW UK Championship. BMW, the...

Patrizi secures BMW deal for 2006

Young Australian racing driver Michael Patrizi has taken a giant leap in his motor racing career in securing a fully funded BMW Motorsport deal to compete in the 2006 Formula BMW UK Championship.

BMW, the global motoring giant that now owns the BMW Sauber F1 team, is a strong supporter of young driving talent and has announced that Patrizi, 21, will be placed by BMW Motorsport into the British motorsport system in 2006. British motorsport is widely renowned as the toughest school of all for young motor racing talent and is where most of the world's best racing drivers learned their craft, including Australian Formula 1 driver Mark Webber.

Patrizi earned this unprecedented opportunity after his sensational performances in the 2005 Formula BMW Asia Championship, where the West Australian was the Rookie Cup Champion and second in the overall championship.

This deal places Patrizi in the BMW Motorsport driver ladder system at a time when BMW is widely involved in global motorsport, with the recent acquisition of the BMW Sauber F1 team and also BMW's recent victory in the World Touring Car Championship.

Kalgoorlie-born Patrizi will relocate to the UK early next year to begin testing. Before BMW Motorsport offered this amazing opportunity to Patrizi, the young Australian had viewed several options for next season. Patrizi is ecstatic with the news and his plans for 2006 and cannot wait for the challenge ahead of him.

This step is the natural progression for Patrizi, who has achieved much in his young career thus far. Patrizi is a former Australian karting champion and is used to being based overseas after living in Italy for a season while an official factory driver for the Birel Motorsport international karting team in 2003. Patrizi then returned home in 2004 for his debut year of car racing, competing in state-level Formula Ford.

For 2005 Patrizi was awarded a BMW Motorsport scholarship valued at US$50,000 to compete in the Formula BMW Asia Championship, a move that has led him to his current position.

Patrizi recently had his first taste of being a BMW driver, attending the BMW Motorsport End of Season Snow Party with other BMW drivers such as Mark Webber and Alex Zanardi, celebrating the marque's year of success.

Michael Patrizi:
"This is a great opportunity provided to me by BMW. To be linked with a manufacturer at this stage of my career is very important for any young racing driver. I'd like to sincerely thank BMW Motorsport for giving me this tremendous opportunity.

"I'm going into next season with my sights set on winning the Formula BMW UK Championship. I am grateful to BMW for its support for next season and I will be working on every aspect of my driving and fitness to make 2006 my best year yet.

"I'm lucky that in my career so far I have been able to travel a lot and have already been based in Europe once before. I have actually raced more overseas in the last few years of my career than in Australia, so the challenge is one that I cannot wait to begin. Living abroad and racing on new circuits is something that I enjoy.

"Formula BMW is the most logical step out of karting to progress into open-wheel racing cars. BMW provide fantastic cars that are fast, handle well and are very safe. Formula BMW also provides its drivers with coaching and training courses that enable you to learn while you compete on an international stage. I am very pleased to be spending another year in Formula BMW to further my international motorsport career."

-chris jordan-

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Alex Zanardi , Michael Patrizi
Teams Sauber