USA: Denver preview

Woodcliff Lake, NJ - August 7, 2006-- The battle for the Formula BMW USA championship continues on the streets of Denver, Colorado on August 11-13 when Rounds 11 and 12 will be held at the Grand Prix of Denver. Denver is the second street race of...

Woodcliff Lake, NJ - August 7, 2006-- The battle for the Formula BMW USA championship continues on the streets of Denver, Colorado on August 11-13 when Rounds 11 and 12 will be held at the Grand Prix of Denver. Denver is the second street race of the season as Formula BMW USA travels with the Champ Car World Series from San Jose. This is the third year Denver has been on the Formula BMW USA schedule. The temporary circuit remains a 1.65-mile, nine-turn concrete-walled layout encompassing the private streets around the Pepsi Center. Twenty-six Formula BMW USA drivers have entered to compete on this demanding track.

Canadian Robert Wickens (EuroInternational) has led the Overall points since Round 3 and continues to lead the championship after three wins in Rounds 3, 7 and 10, two second and one third-place finish. Matt Lee (Autotecnica), winner of Round 4 and runner-up in Rounds 5, 6 and 10, stands second, 20 points behind Wickens. Simona De Silvestro (EuroInternational), only one point behind Lee, rounds out the top-three. De Silvestro, the most successful woman ever in Formula BMW worldwide, has only finished out of the top-five twice this season.

Stefano Coletti (EuroInternational), from Formula BMW Germany, who had a guest appearance in the US series, stands fourth. Californian Reed Stevens (HBR Motorsport Team USA) stands fifth after winning the season's opening race at Mid- Ohio and Round 9 in San Jose.

Success in the Denver rounds will be crucial to every driver's title hopes before the two final Rounds at Mosport International Raceway on September 1-3. If anyone has an advantage at Denver, it may go to Wickens, Lee and Stevens as they have experience on the street circuit with Formula BMW USA last season.

David Garza (EuroInternational), with two third-place finishes in Round 1 and 9, is on top of the Rookie points. Gelles Racing teammates Maxime Pelletier and Sebastian Saavedra stand second and third respectively. The top-three in Rookie points are only separated by nine points.

Wickens, a 17-year old BMW Junior driver said, "Going into Denver as the point's leader feels great. I did very well in Denver last year and I hope to do the same this year. I know EuroInternational can give me a great car and I think a perfect weekend is very possible."

Lee, the 16-year old runner-up said, "Every point is crucial in the championship. We're giving it our best effort and we'll just continue to stay focused. I like the track; it's my favorite street circuit of all, and I like street circuits in general. I got crashed out of both of the Denver races last year, so I certainly don't want that to happen this year. I want to win them both this time! I have a good team in Autotecnica, which helps." He added, "The competition in the Formula BMW series is so tight that you have to give it your best in every single session. Every lap we do in practice is important because it helps us with our set-up for qualifying. Qualifying is really important because the races are short and the street courses are very tight so that it's hard to pass. We'll be doing our best from the moment we go on track for the first practice session."

17-year old De Silvestro said, "I hope that in Denver I will finish on the podium or win a race. The championship is very close and I hope to be able to gain a lot of points. Denver will be a new circuit for me. I need to learn it first and so I have a little disadvantage compared to Robert and Matt."

Practice will be held on Friday, August 11 at 8:00 a.m., followed by Round 11 qualifying at 11:45 a.m. Round 12 qualifying will be held at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday with the Round 11 race scheduled to start at 12:15 p.m. After a 15 minute warm-up at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, the Round 12 race is scheduled to start at 10:15 a.m.

-credit: bmw usa

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Robert Wickens , Reed Stevens , Stefano Coletti , Maxime Pelletier , David Garza , Matt Lee