Gutierrez Wins Round 6 from the Pole Indianapolis, Ind. - June 17, 2007-- 15-year old Esteban Gutierrez (Team Autotecnica), of Monterrey, Mexico, took a commanding win today in Round 6 of the 2007 Formula BMW USA Championship at the Indianapolis...
Gutierrez Wins Round 6 from the Pole
Indianapolis, Ind. - June 17, 2007-- 15-year old Esteban Gutierrez (Team Autotecnica), of Monterrey, Mexico, took a commanding win today in Round 6 of the 2007 Formula BMW USA Championship at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Taking the victory from his sixth consecutive pole, he finished 2.234 seconds ahead of Daniel Morad (Eurointernational) in the 15-lap race around the 2.605-mile Grand Prix circuit. Gutierrez continues to lead the Rookie point standings after his second win of the season and stands second to Morad in the Overall point standings.
Maxime Pelletier (HBR Motorsport Team USA) finished third after a wild race that saw him have a great start from the front row, lead briefly, go off in turn 1 - twice, fall back as far as sixth, and ultimately climb back to finish on the podium for the second time this weekend.
Ricardo Favoretto (HBR Motorsport Team USA) finished fourth for his third top-five finish of the season. Sebastian Saavedra (Eurointernational) finished fifth, setting the fastest lap of the race (1:39.917) on lap 11.
This morning's race had the United States Grand Prix crowd cheering as the 18 young Formula BMW USA drivers put on a great show. Pelletier grabbed the early lead as the cars funneled into the infield after a clean start, but Gutierrez was soon by him. On lap 2 Pelletier ran off in turn 1 allowing Morad to take second as Adrien Tambay (Eurointernational) and Philip Major (Autotecnica) tangled. Alexander Rossi (Hearn Motorsports) moved to third, taking the second spot from Morad on lap 6. Gutierrez opened his gap to 2.6 seconds as Rossi, Morad and Pelletier, now back up to fourth, raced each other. Morad took second back on lap 9 as Pelletier went long in turn 1 a second time. By lap 13 Gutierrez and Morad were well clear of the field as Pelletier, Rossi, Favoretto and Saavedra battled for the last step of the podium. Rossi dropped to sixth in the closing laps, the young American recording his fifth top-10 finish of the season.
The top-finishing Rookie drivers today were Gutierrez (P1), Favoretto (P4), Jeffrey Petriello (P8), Eric Morrow (P13) and Timothy Hollowell (P15).
Next on the Formula BMW USA schedule is an Official Test at Putnam Park on June 19. Rounds 7 and 8 will be held in support of the American Le Mans Series at Lime Rock Park, in Lakeville, Conn., on July 6 - 7.
"I still need more experience with the starts to control the wheelspin," said Gutierrez. "Once I passed Maxime I then tried to focus on not making any mistakes and break the draft. That was the key to the win."
Morad said," I had a great start, but when Maxime moved over I had to swing to the outside of the track and lost some speed. Esteban opened a gap and as Rossi caught and raced me it opened up even a bigger gap. I got back by him and was catching Esteban, but the race was just not long enough."
Pelletier added,"I had a good start. When Esteban got by me I drafted him into turn 1, but had lost the air on the front of the car and went long under braking. I did it again a second time with four laps to go, but focused on not getting angry with myself. If not for those two mistakes I know I would have done even better. This has been my best weekend ever."