USA: San Jose round nine qualifying report

Californian Alexander Rossi Scores Round 9 Pole in San Jose San Jose, Calif. - July 27, 2007-- Californian Alexander Rossi (Team Apex Racing USA) scored his first career Formula BMW USA pole position today qualifying for Round 9 of the Formula...

Californian Alexander Rossi Scores Round 9 Pole in San Jose

San Jose, Calif. - July 27, 2007-- Californian Alexander Rossi (Team Apex Racing USA) scored his first career Formula BMW USA pole position today qualifying for Round 9 of the Formula BMW USA Championship at the San Jose Grand Prix. The 15-year old, from Nevada City, California, bested the 16-car field in the 30-minute session, recording a lap of 1:03.031 minutes around the 1.443-mile, 7-turn temporary street circuit.

Overall points leader and BMW Junior Daniel Morad (Eurointernational), of Toronto, Canada, qualified second, only .069 seconds slower than Rossi. Morad has never qualified less than third this season, winning five of the eight races to-date.

Steven Guerrero (HBR Motorsport Team USA), of Bogota, Colombia, qualified third. It was the best qualifying effort of the year for the sophomore Formula BMW USA driver. Robert Thorne (Team Apex Racing USA) and Philip Major (Autotecnica) rounded out the top-five qualifiers. The top-five are within .593 seconds of Rossi's pole time.

BMW Junior Timothy Hollowell (Team KMA) gave his best performance of the year, qualifying seventh, the quickest Rookie in the field. Rookie points leader and pole winner in Rounds 1 through 6, Esteban Gutierrez (Autotecnica) did not post a time in the session and will start 16th.

The concrete walls that define San Jose's Redback Raceway also dictated the outcome of the session for quite a few drivers. BMW Junior and Rookie Jeffrey Petriello (Team KMA) will start 12th after breaking his suspension following a brush with the wall. Maxime Pelletier (HBR Motorsport Team USA) was quick early, but will start 13th after hitting the wall and breaking his left rear suspension. Even fourth place qualifier Robert Thorne did not finish the session after a late charge resulted in brushing the wall in turn six and forcing him to retire from the session.

A confident Rossi said, "After the track walk yesterday, I felt I would be quick here as I really enjoy technical tracks. I was P6 in the first practice and quickest in the second so I was ready for qualifying. The track gets better and better as more rubber is getting put down so tomorrow should be even faster for Round 10 qualifying and the race."

Morad said, "The pole is always the goal, but I can't really complain as I am on the first row. I learned here last season that the circuit is really too short to warm up the tires before the start so you have to be very careful in the beginning of the race. A good start and lead into turn 1 will be critical tomorrow."

Guerrero added "The team worked really hard and I think I have a really good car for the race and I think we can possibly win. I was trying so hard and just have to work at it."

Saturday will see Round 10 qualifying at 11:50 - 12:20 p.m. followed by the Round 9 race at 3:20 - 4:05 p.m. On Sunday, shortly after a 15-minute morning warm-up at 8:00 a.m., the Round 10 race will begin at 9:55 a.m.

-credit: bmw.usa

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Series Formula BMW
Drivers Robert Thorne , Maxime Pelletier , Steven Guerrero , Daniel Morad , Alexander Rossi , Timothy Hollowell , Esteban Gutierrez , Philip Major