USA: UK: D: AP: Bahrain to host World Final

Bahrain International Circuit to host first Formula BMW World Final. Champion gets drive in BMW WilliamsF1 Team. Manama/Munich. The Bahrain International Circuit has been nominated as the venue for the first World Final of Formula BMW. From 13th...

Bahrain International Circuit to host first Formula BMW World Final.
Champion gets drive in BMW WilliamsF1 Team.

Manama/Munich. The Bahrain International Circuit has been nominated as the venue for the first World Final of Formula BMW. From 13th to 16th December 2005, racing drivers from the four regional Formula BMW series (Germany, Britain, Asia, USA) will compete against each other for the first time. The best of the talented junior drivers can look forward to a total purse of 60,000 US dollars. Furthermore the champion will get the chance to do some laps in the BMW WilliamsF1 Team.

"Bahrain is an ideal venue for the first Formula BMW World Final," says BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen. "Even in December, the Gulf region affords good weather conditions for high-calibre motor racing. But what we regard as particularly important is that the circuit boasts first-rate safety standards. We are delighted to have won the Bahrain International Circuit as a partner for our project. Motor racing fans can look forward to a real treat."

Over four days, talented young drivers from five continents can be vying for the accolade of being declared the fastest Formula BMW driver in the world. The champion will be the third Formula BMW young gun to steer the Formula One car: In 2002 Nico Rosberg and in 2003 Ho-Pin Tung left marks testing for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team. To be in contention for this honour, the young drivers have to get through qualifying and intermediate heats in order to compete in the final race that takes place on Friday, 16th December. In the intervals between the Formula BMW races, spectators can look forward to an interesting motor racing support programme.

Martin Whitaker, General Manager of the Bahrain International Circuit, says: "The Formula BMW World Final is an important event for us. We are delighted to be the major partner for the inaugural event. It will strengthen our position as one of the future leading motor sport venues in the world and the home of motorsport in the Middle East."

The Bahrain International Circuit south of the capital Manama is the most modern race track in the Middle East. Just 16 months elapsed between the official start of construction in December 2002 and the inaugural race on 3rd April 2004 - the curtain-raiser for Formula BMW Asia 2004, staged as part of the Formula One Grand Prix support programme. In 2005 as well, Formula One and Formula BMW Asia will be hosted in Bahrain on the first weekend in April.

Background:

Formula BMW is the world's leading entry-level class in Formula racing. In 2005 the series will be held in Germany, Britain, Asia and the USA. Up-and-coming drivers as young as 15 years of age are given the opportunity of entering motor racing with the high-tech, standard FB02 race car.

This racer has been seen on the grid since 2002 and has set standards particularly on the safety technology front. A single-seater propelled by a 140 bhp BMW motorcycle engine up to 230 km/h, it exceeds by far the safety requirements for its class. BMW Motorsport has developed the FORS Formula Rescue Seat especially for Formula BMW, and the HANS safety system is also mandatory.

In 2005, Formula BMW will be staged five times as part of the Formula One support programme. All the series offer a multifaceted Education and Coaching Programme as well as sponsorship for promising racing talents. The best-known alumni of this talent hothouse are Formula One drivers Ralf Schumacher and Christian Klien.

BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen: "Formula BMW offers talented young drivers more than just a car. In the Education and Coaching Programme we have designed specially for them, they learn everything they need to know to hold their own in the big wide world of motor racing. Formula BMW has shot out of the blocks to become the top entry-level class for Formula racing worldwide."

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Nico Rosberg , Christian Klien , Ho-Pin Tung , Mario Theissen
Teams Williams