Wickens takes pole for Round 14 Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada - September 2, 2006-- Robert Wickens (EuroInternational) added one more valuable point to his championship point lead in taking the Round 14 pole for tomorrow's final race of the 2006...
Wickens takes pole for Round 14
Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada - September 2, 2006-- Robert Wickens (EuroInternational) added one more valuable point to his championship point lead in taking the Round 14 pole for tomorrow's final race of the 2006 Formula BMW USA season. Wickens set a new qualifying record with a lap of 1:21.119 minutes around the 2.46-mile, 10-turn Mosport International Raceway for his third pole and eighth front row start of the season. The 17-year old Canadian will clinch the 2006 championship if he wins today's Round 13 race.
Reed Stevens (HBR Motorsport Team USA), fourth in points and still with a chance at the championship, will start second (1:21.177). Steven's teammate and this afternoon's Round 13 polesitter Race Johnson qualified third (1:21.224). Matt Lee (Team Autotecnica), currently third in points will start fourth (1:21.406). Rounding out the top-five qualifiers for the final race is David Garza (EuroInternational). Garza, today's top-qualifying Rookie, stands only four points behind Daniel Morad (AIM Autosport) in Rookie points. Morad qualified seventh.
Second in points after yesterday's reinstatement of her Round 4 victory, Simona de Silvestro (EuroInternational) qualified eighth today but will start at the rear of the grid as following post-qualifying inspection her car was found to be out of compliance.
Ensuring an exciting final race to the 2006 season the top-ten qualifiers for Round 14 are within one second of Wicken's pole time.
Long hours by the Gelles Racing mechanics turned around the weekend for Sebastian Saavedra. Third in Rookie points, only five points behind Morad, he was able to qualify today (1:30.180 - 25th). Damaged in yesterday's second practice session, Saavedra's FB02 was repaired and he will be able to challenge for the Rookie title.
The fastest Rookies in Round 14 qualifying were Garza (P5), Morad (P7), Maxime Pelletier (P11), Robert Thorne (P13) and Jordan Dick (20).
"I am very excited about my result today," said a happy Wickens. "We made a lot of changes to the car to make it better and it showed. We had a very good qualifying session and the team played the strategy perfectly. I could have had a better lap, but I made a little mistake and I think this cost me quite a bit of time. My car was phenomenal today and to start from the front row in my home town race is great. Lots of friends and family are here to watch me and I hope I can make them proud. After qualifying, my expectation is to win the championship today because I have the second best spot and the first spot to start the races. I think I have a very good chance to win the championship if I stay clean and if I finish in the top-five I think I will able to get it."
Stevens said, "Today's qualifying session was a bit better. It is a little bit unfortunate because Wickens has picked up this extra point for taking the pole position. But we are still very competitive. Each time I have started from second place I have taken the lead in the first corner. So I am definitely confident with my starting position tomorrow. It would have been nice to have the extra point, but it is not so bad."
Johnson said, "I was P1 for quite a lot of this session. At the end it was not good enough for first, but I am only one tenth off so it is not too bad. I am confident for the race today. I am starting on pole. And I am confident also for tomorrow and want to thank my sponsors TAOW Productions and McCormick & Schmicks for helping me along the way."
The Round 13 race is scheduled to start at 4:25 p.m. today and the Round 14 race is scheduled to start at 1:20 p.m. tomorrow.
<pre> Qualifying: Round 14 1 Robert Wickens EuroInternational 1:21.119 (109.129 mph) 2 Reed Stevens HBR Motorsport Team USA 1:21.177 3 Race Johnson HBR Motorsport Team USA 1:21.224 4 Matt Lee Team Autotecnica 1:21.406 5 David Garza (R) EuroInternational 1:21.622 6 Ryan Campbell Gelles Racing 1:21.765 7 Daniel Morad (R) AIM Autosport 1:21.811 8 Ryan Phinny Hearn Motorsports 1:21.950 9 Marco Di Leo Hearn Motorsports 1:21.958 10 Maxime Pelletier (R) Gelles Racing 1:21.967 11 Adrien Herberts Gelles Racing 1:22.143 12 Robert Thorne (R) Team Autotecnica 1:22.234 13 Doug Boyer AIM Autosport 1:22.423 14 Philip Major Atlantic Racing Team 1:22.436 15 John Zartarian Gelles Racing 1:22.611 16 David Rangel Haberfeld & Walker Racing 1:22.659 17 Marco Santos Haberfeld & Walker Racing 1:22.714 18 Scott Schroeder American Spirit Grand Prix 1:22.749 19 Jordan Dick (R) Team Apex Racing USA 1:22.783 20 Yannick Hofman HBR Motorsport Team USA 1:22.888 21 Steven Guerrero (R) HBR Motorsport Team USA 1:22.916 22 Joel Jackson (R) Gelles Racing 1:23.260 23 Frankie Muniz Jensen Motorsport 1:23.323 24 Sebastian Saavedra (R) Gelles Racing 1:30.180 25 Simona de Silvestro EuroInternational no time*
* Car #50 excluded for violation of 5.10.5 of the Formula BMW USA Regulations