USA: Mid-Ohio Friday qualifying one notes

David Garza scores pole for first Formula BMW USA race of the season Lexington, Ohio - May 19, 2006-- Formula BMW USA Junior driver David Garza (EuroInternational) scored the first pole of the 2006 Formula BMW USA season with a lap of 1:28.372...

David Garza scores pole for first Formula BMW USA race of the season

Lexington, Ohio - May 19, 2006-- Formula BMW USA Junior driver David Garza (EuroInternational) scored the first pole of the 2006 Formula BMW USA season with a lap of 1:28.372 minutes around the newly resurfaced 2.4-mile, 15-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in today's Round 1 qualifying session. Never out of the top-three for the entire 30-minute session, the 17-year old from Monterrey, Mexico topped the 26-car field and a hard charging Reed Stevens (HBR Motorsport Team USA) in the closing laps. Stevens, the fourth place finisher in last season's championship and one of ten drivers in the field with previous Formula BMW USA experience, will start from the second position with a 1:28.596 minute lap.

Matt Lee (Autotecnica), who led today's final practice session, qualified third (1:28.894). Following post-qualifying inspection Lee's car and that of 11th qualifier Daniel Morad were found not to be in compliance. They will start at the rear of the grid.

Ryan Phinny (Hearn Motorsports) moved into the fourth starting position (1:28.894) in the final minute, sliding Robert Wickens (Team Apex Racing USA) to the fifth spot. Wickens, the top-finishing returning Rookie from the 2005 championship, returns to Formula BMW USA this year as a Junior scholarship driver. Both will move up one position, starting third and forth respectively. Doug Boyer (AIM Autosport) now rounds out the top-five starters.

The fastest Rookies in the field were Garza (P1), Sebastian Saavedra (P6), Robert Thorne (P8), Maxime Pelletier (P12) and Steven Guerrero (P15).

"I pushed as hard as I could and now I am extremely excited and completely satisfied. It is indescribable," said a delighted Garza. "Reed and I kept pushing and everybody was trying their best. Tomorrow I want to repeat this result and stay in this position for the entire weekend. It will be hard, but I think I can do it."

Stevens said, "I was pushing really hard to gain the P1 position. I let the tires cool off a bit because I developed a push right at the end. I slowed down to cool the tires. I wanted to go for another lap, but that was actually the final lap. A front row start is where I wanted to be. The team has a lot of experience, the car feels very good and we look forward to the race tomorrow."

The Round 1 race is scheduled to start at 5:15 p.m. tomorrow after Round 2 qualifying at 8:10 a.m. Sunday's Round 2 race is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m.

-bmw-

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Robert Wickens , Reed Stevens , Maxime Pelletier , David Garza , Steven Guerrero , Sebastian Saavedra , Daniel Morad , Ryan Phinny , Matt Lee