Rossi Wins Race and Morad Clinches Championship in a wet Round 13
Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada - Aug. 25, 2007-- The torrential rain that fell just after the start of the Round 13 race could not stop Alexander Rossi (Team Apex Racing USA) from winning or Daniel Morad (Eurointernationa) from clinching the 2007 Formula BMW USA Championship. Rossi won the 14-lap contest, which went to the 30-minute time limit, finishing .464 seconds ahead of teammate Robert Thorne. Yannick Hofman (Eurointernational) finished third for his first career Formula BMW podium.
Morad's fourth place finish was enough for the 17-year old Canadian to clinch the Overall championship. Julia Landauer (Team KMA) finished a season's-best fifth place.
After fog cancelled this morning's Round 14 qualifying session, everyone was sure that the weather would continue to be a factor in this afternoon's race. As the race start approached the skies began to open. Four drivers (Hofman, Landauer, Timothy Hollowell, and Eric Morrow) changed to wet tires just before the race and started from the pit lane, but Rossi, Thorne and Eric Morrow (Hearn Motorsports) had made the decision earlier and were the only three to take the standing start on wets. The rain forced front row starters Esteban Gutierrez (Autotecnica) and Morad to the pit lane on lap two for wet tires as the race's first caution flag was waved. Morad's crew got him out in some 15 seconds, but Gutierrez's long stop dropped him one lap down. He finished 12th.
Rossi, now in the lead, took control of the race. The balance of the field pitted for wet tires as Thorne, Morrow and Hofman (already on wets) followed Rossi. BMW Junior Morrow passed Thorne and was in pursuit of the lead when he slid off the track and into the tire barrier bringing out the second caution of the race on lap 11. The race ended under caution.
The top-finishing Rookie drivers were Ricardo Favoretto (P7), Timothy Hollowell (P10), Gutierrez (P12), and Morrow (P14).
Rossi said, "The call to start on rain tires was the right choice. Today's win was about having the confidence in my car and me to hang on through tough conditions."
Thorne said, "I raced here last year and it rained, but certainly not as hard as today. It was difficult to keep the car on the track in many places so, while I was able to close on Alexander the spray was so great I did not want to take any more chances."
Hofman said, "After two years of trying, I am so happy to reach my first Formula BMW USA podium."
Morad said," To win the Formula BMW USA championship at my home track and to repeat what my Red Bull Junior teammate Robert Wickens did last year feels unbelievable."
The Round 14 race is scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow after a 15-minute warmup session at 8:30 a.m.