Team Apex, Wickens Struggle in Road Atlanta Opener (Braselton, Ga) Robert Wickens, the 16 year old rookie driver of the Team APEX Racing USA car in the Formula BMW Series, knew the final two rounds of the '05 season weren't going to be...
Team Apex, Wickens Struggle in Road Atlanta Opener
(Braselton, Ga) Robert Wickens, the 16 year old rookie driver of the Team APEX Racing USA car in the Formula BMW Series, knew the final two rounds of the '05 season weren't going to be easy...and he was right. Going into the finale at Road Atlanta with a shot at winning both the rookie title and overall championship, Wickens and company knew the challenge would be to find a good set-up and find it fast.
"I'll be honest with you, we've been struggling quite a bit" says APEX team co-owner David Hunt. "You only get two 30-minute practice sessions, and our baseline set-up was far enough off that we realized Thursday's race could be difficult."
Wickens wound up qualifying the MMG Financial BMW powered FB2 for the inside of row five (9th) for Thursday's round 13, and despite running a strong race he took the checkers having gained only a single spot. The 8th place finish, combined with a 5th by championship leader Richard Phillipe and a 4th place finish by Kevin Lacroix (2nd in championship) means that Wickens and Team APEX Racing USA has plenty of work to do in Friday's race, the final round of the '05 campaign.
"We're going to need some help on Friday, no doubt about it," said Hunt, as he surveyed the points standings. "Robert started the day 11 behind Phillipe and nine behind Lacroix. Now he trails them both by 17. It's not impossible, but we're going to need to have a great run, while the leaders are going to have to finish 8th or worse."
Wickens, the only driver in the series to finish in the top-10 in each of the previous 13 rounds this season, remains upbeat about his chances in Friday's finale.
"I told them, hey, we've exceeded every goal that we set for ourselves this season, so let's throw the kitchen sink at it Friday," said Wickens. "We've got nothing to lose."
"He still has a good shot at the rookie title," said Hunt. "But I just want him to go out there Friday and have a good time. He's a great driver, and I think we've got the car where he needs it. We were at the track late Thursday night and made several changes. We threw the kitchen sink at it, just like Robert wanted."
The final round of the 2005 Formula BMW USA season is set to take the green flag Friday afternoon at 12:15pm eastern time at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia. Robert Wickens will start on the outside of row four (8th) in the Friday finale.