Podium for Zartarian, Saavedra Top Leading Rookie Gelles Racing puts four drivers in top nine in Formula-BMW USA Lime Rock, May 30th, 2006. -- The Formula BMW USA championship will be hard fought until the last round of the season but...
Podium for Zartarian, Saavedra Top Leading Rookie
Gelles Racing puts four drivers in top nine in Formula-BMW USA
Lime Rock, May 30th, 2006. -- The Formula BMW USA championship will be hard fought until the last round of the season but Gelles Racing drivers have proved again they will be contenders in each of the 10 remaining rounds. In Lime Rock, they had strong cars, did not put a wheel wrong and picked up valuable championship points. John Zartarian could have been the hero of the weekend, Sebastian Saavedra now sits atop Rookie standings and Maxime Pelletier really came into his own. The young Gelles guns are always among the leaders.
"We are very proud of our drivers, claimed team principal Bob Gelles. They race clean and behaved very well in a series where mistakes often happen. They have to work around short qualifying sessions, red flag stoppage, full course yellows and make the best of it. I think they do very well. We did not have a mechanical failure so far this season after four races and only one driver did not complete an event after a contact with a stopped car on the track. It is safe to say they will be right up there until the last checkered flag."
Second podium for Zartarian
The 19-year old veteran could have been the star of the weekend. Because of a cancelled qualifying session, he started Saturday's race from second row and was in the lead two laps into the race and pulling away. However, he was penalized for moving prior to the start and had to drive-thru pit lane. He finished in 16th. In the second race, he started fourth in his BMW of Sterling car and finished third for his second podium in as many weekends. He now lies fourth in the standings but looks very strong coming into the Montreal F-1 Race Weekend.
Saavedra, now Top rookie
This 15-year old drives his Western Union machine like a veteran: he gives solid performances and earns points in each round. He started the first race in 8th place and carved his way to fourth, best rookie and short by 0.4 from his first podium, In the second race, starting from 16th since after the qualifying session was cut short to four laps, he moved on to a solid 8th place overall. The young Colombian holds a 9-point lead in the rookie standings
Maxime Pelletier: 8th and 4th
Communication with driver coach Claude Bourbonnais and engineer -- mechanic Marco Tischer is gelling. Only 15, Pelletier had a strong weekend holding off veteran drivers and moving up seven places (from 15 to 8) in the first round and earning a deserving 4th place in the second. He's only six points away from second place in the rookie standings.
Herberts, Campbell and Jackson
Herberts couldn't recover from a pit lane start when his car refused to fire on the grid and finished round 3 in 18th place. He started in 16th for round 4 and moved up 8 positions taking the checkered flag in 8th gaining some valuable points. Ryan Campbell lacked some rhythm all weekend: from 7th on the first grid he dropped to 13th place, while he started 17th in the second round and ended up in 13th place. Starting from behind since he did not earn points in Mid-Ohio, the 19-year old Jamaican finished in 22nd. For the second round, he made up 5 positions to complete the race in 16th place.
First F1 stop: Montreal
Gelles Racing BMW USA drivers will enjoy a few weeks off the track and will meet again in Montreal for their first Formula One double header on June 24 and 25. Meanwhile, the Western Union and BMW of Sterling FB02 machines will be revised for the first of two visits North of the border.