Wickens Wins Round 11
Denver, Colo. - Aug. 13, 2005-- 16-year old BMW Junior driver Robert Wickens (Team Apex Racing USA) scored his second Formula BMW USA victory of the season today, winning Round 11 at the Grand Prix of Denver. He completed 19 laps of the 1.657-mile Denver street course, finishing .505 seconds ahead of James Davison (HBR Motorsport Team USA) in the 30 minute contest. In a race in which two caution periods for accidents consumed a total of nine laps, Wickens took over the lead from Davison on the restart on lap 17. Davison, with a great start, took over the lead from polesitter Richard Philippe (Team Autotecnica) on the first lap and led the first 16 laps. Wickens moves to third in Overall points and back to the top of the Rookie points as he continues his very consistent season. In addition to the two wins, the young Canadian has five top-three finishes and has always finished in the top-10.
BMW Junior Reed Stevens (HBR Motorsport Team USA) drove from his 11th starting position to round out the podium for his third top-three finish of the year. Stevens passed for the fifth position on lap nine and reached third on the next lap after contact between Wickens and Matthew Lee (Twintooth/BRM Motorsport), battling for second and third, put Lee out of the race.
Round 10 winner Eduardo Piscopo (EuroInternational) finished fourth, setting the fastest lap of the race on lap 12 (1:15.674), as he chased Stevens for the final step of the podium. Michael Patrizi (Walker Racing) rounded out the top-five in his Formula BMW USA debut.
"It was a great race," said Wickens. "I managed to pass Richard on the ninth lap. James had built up a big lead and I tried to hunt him down. On the lap 17 restart I passed him in corner two and held the lead from there." The Round 12 polesitter, Wickens is positive about tomorrow's propects, "Winning tomorrow is very possible because I was fast enough to win today. Hopefully, I will have a good start tomorrow and lead every lap."
Davison said, "I got a good start and came right to first. I built up a big gap, but I got unlucky with the safety car. Wickens was able to catch up to me and when the race started again I got a tiny bit wide and he passed me. I got really close to him on the final lap and in the last corner I tried to pass him. I got along side him, but I was on the wrong side of the track to enter the corner."
Stevens added, "It was tough to find the right setup with the changing weather. We made some big adjustments for the race and the car was very good. I made a very aggressive start with a couple of wishful moves, but they paid off. I was unfortunate at the restart. I was sitting third and I knew the car was very fast and I thought we would certainly have a chance to win. Unfortunately when the green flag dropped Piscopo was able to get around me. The car came back to me about half a lap later and I was able to set him up and pass him back for third just before the checkered flag."
Overall points leader Kevin Lacroix (AIM Autosport) finished sixth and polesitter Philippe finished seventh after a poor start and problems during the race dropped him back.
Lacroix increased his lead in Overall points to three over Philippe as Wickens continues to keep the pressure on both of them in third. Maxime Soulet (Gelles Racing) stands fourth and Davison fifth.
The top finishing Rookies were Wickens (P1), Davison (P2), Stevens (P3), Piscopo (P4) and Lacroix (P6).
Wickens leads the Rookie points by four points over Lacroix and Philippe. Davison and Stevens round out the top-five.
Sunday's Round 12 race is scheduled to start at 10:15 a.m. MT.