USA: Indianapolis rounds 7, 8 preview

Woodcliff Lake, NJ - June 27, 2006-- Formula BMW USA will follow the Formula One World Championship to the United States Grand Prix for Rounds 7 and 8 on June 30 - July 2. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will provide the ultimate venue for 29...

Woodcliff Lake, NJ - June 27, 2006-- Formula BMW USA will follow the Formula One World Championship to the United States Grand Prix for Rounds 7 and 8 on June 30 - July 2. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will provide the ultimate venue for 29 eager young Formula BMW USA drivers to show some of the finest entry- level, open-wheel racing in the world. Now at the half-way point of the season, the battle for the title of 2006 Formula BMW USA champion is tightening up considerably.

After Matt Lee's (Team Autotecnica) two second-place finishes in front of the Formula One crowd in Montreal last weekend he now shares the Championship points lead with Robert Wickens (Team Apex Racing USA). Simona De Silvestro (EuroInternational), after fourth and third place finishes in Canada, stands third.

Formula BMW Germany driver Stefano Coletti (EuroInternational), racing the four Rounds in support of Formula One in Montreal and Indianapolis with Formula BMW USA, showed his best performance at the Canadian Grand Prix as he scored both poles and both victories. His successful guest appearance brings him up to the fourth position in the Championship points, followed by Canadian Daniel Morad (AIM Autosport) who rounds out the top-five.

As a result of close competition between the Rookies in the first six races, only four points now separate the top-three drivers. Maxime Pelletier (Gelles Racing) leads Morad by only two points. Sebastian Saavedra (Gelles Racing) stands third.

Pelletier showed his best performances of the season at Montreal, finishing 13th and 11th after starting 26th in both races. Doug Boyer (AIM Autosport), Ryan Phinny (Hearn Motorsports) and Yannick Hofman (HBR Motorsports Team USA) recorded their best finishes of the season at Montreal. Every young Formula BMW USA driver is getting faster and each Round is becoming increasingly competitive.

Prior to Rounds 5 and 6 at Montreal Formula BMW USA saw four different winners this season so far. Reed Stevens (HBR Motorsport Team USA) and Morad dominated the two opening Rounds at Mid-Ohio. Wickens and Lee took the checkered flags at Lime Rock Park.

Will Coletti be able to repeat his double victory in Indianapolis? Without a doubt he will face strong competition from Wickens who already knows the way to the podium at Indy with his two third place finishes in the 2005 Formula BMW USA championship.

"I am very excited going into Indy after a good weekend in Montreal," says Wickens. "My goal this weekend is to score good points both days, and hopefully find myself on the podium twice. We had pretty good speed in Indy last year so hopefully we can carry that success over to this year. Maybe this year I will find myself kissing the famous bricks!"

But how will the others with no experience on the 2.605-mile Indianapolis road circuit prepare?

De Silvestro explains, "I prepare on the Playstation as this is the only way you can learn the track before you get there. I am hoping to win in Indianapolis as I need the points."

Coletti said, "First I have to learn the track on the Playstation because I think it is a little bit more technical than the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit in Montreal. My team is working very well so with my preparation and their experience we might repeat a successful weekend."

In the last two seasons, the Indianapolis rounds provided some of the best racing of the season. With this season's competition at a fever pitch, Rounds 7 and 8 are sure to eclipse them for action and excitement.

Practice will be held on Friday, June 30 at 9:45 a.m., followed by the single qualifying session at 4:25 p.m. The Round 7 race is scheduled to start at 4:40 p.m. Saturday and the Round 8 race is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

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Series Formula BMW
Drivers Gilles Villeneuve , Robert Wickens , Reed Stevens , Stefano Coletti , Yannick Hofman , Maxime Pelletier , Sebastian Saavedra , Daniel Morad , Ryan Phinny , Matt Lee