USA: Lime Rock rounds seven, eight preview

Woodcliff Lake, NJ - July 3, 2007-- The 2007 Formula BMW USA Championship enters the second half of the season at Lime Rock Park, in Lakeville, Conn., on July 6-7. BMW Junior Daniel Morad (Eurointernational), last season's Rookie champion, ...

Woodcliff Lake, NJ - July 3, 2007-- The 2007 Formula BMW USA Championship enters the second half of the season at Lime Rock Park, in Lakeville, Conn., on July 6-7.

BMW Junior Daniel Morad (Eurointernational), last season's Rookie champion, has scored four victories and holds a 23 point lead over this season's top Rookie Esteban Gutierrez (Team Autotecnica) in the Overall point standings. Morad and Gutierrez stand 64 points ahead of Alexander Rossi (Team Apex Racing USA) and Sebastian Saavedra (Eurointernational) who are tied in third. Jeffrey Petriello (Team KMA Racing), also a Rookie driver, stands fifth.

Gutierrez, with two wins and a series record six consecutive poles, has a commanding 69 point lead in the Rookie points over Petriello. Ricardo Favoretto (Team HBR Motorsports USA) stands third, 34 points back.

17 drivers are entered this weekend to take on Lime Rock Park's historic 1.54-mile circuit. Formula BMW USA has visited Lime Rock Park twice before, holding its inaugural races there in 2004, and racing there again in 2006. In addition to the track's many challenges Lime Rock Park also has a crystal ball quality. In 2004, Andreas Wirth won both Lime Rock rounds on his way to that year's Overall title. Last year's Champion, Robert Wickens, took his first Formula BMW USA victory of the 2006 season at Lime Rock Park.

Not only does Lime Rock Park share part of its 50-year history with Formula BMW USA, but it's proximity to BMW of North America's Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey headquarters have made BMW and Lime Rock Park fast friends for more than 30 years.

BMW's motorsport programs first arrived at Lime Rock in 1975 with two CSLs driven by greats like Hans Stuck, Brian Redman and local hero Sam Posey. As the decade ended it was David Hobbs' 320 Turbo flying the BMW flag in the IMSA Camel GT Series at Lime Rock. Hobbs was back with BMW in the mid-1980s as a driver in BMW's first foray into prototype racing - the BMW GTP effort. David Donohue wheeled his 1994 M5 around Lime Rock on his way to the IMSA Supercar title. The BMW Team PTG M3s ruled the GT classes at Lime Rock from 1995 through 2006.

The first advertisement for the now legendary 2002tii was photographed at Lime Rock in 1972. Another BMW-Lime Rock first occurred in 1977 when the first television ad for the 3 Series was filmed there.

From 1984 through 1994 BMW was the Official Car of Lime Rock and, in 1985, added the title of Official Car of the Skip Barber Driving School. During the 10-year tenure with the driving school, many BMW training programs were also conducted here. Today, BMW is again the official car of Lime Rock Park.

Practice will be held from 10:00 - 10:30 a.m. Friday, with Round 7 qualifying at 1:35 - 1:55 p.m. and Round 8 qualifying set for 5:30 - 5:50 p.m. The Round 7 race is scheduled for 9:45 a.m. Saturday followed by Round 8 at 12:45 p.m.

-credit: bmw.usa

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Series Formula BMW
Drivers David Hobbs , Skip Barber , Brian Redman , Sam Posey , Andreas Wirth , Robert Wickens , Sebastian Saavedra , Daniel Morad , Alexander Rossi , Jeffrey Petriello , Ricardo Favoretto , Esteban Gutierrez