After seven weeks in Europe, seventeen-year-old Daniel Morad is back home in Canada for some downtime. His recent European adventures included a trip to the Red Bull Junior Team facilities in Austria and testing at various circuits. The trip culminated with the Formula BMW World Final in Valencia, Spain.
The main focus of the trip was the Formula BMW World Final and Daniel would spend considerable time with Eurointernational, his team during a successful run for the 2007 Formula BMW USA Championship which he clinched at Mosport back in August. Daniel would be attending this year's World Final as one of three champions from the international series. Thirty-five drivers from around the globe would be in attendance to compete for the chance to win a test drive with the BMW-Sauber Formula 1 race team.
Daniel was on pace from opening practice. "We had a great comfort level going in" Daniel said. "After a full season together, and winning a championship together, the Eurointernational team and I were prepared and ready to go for it." By the end of Daniel's qualifying session, that confidence was evident in the times. Daniel was second in his group and was one of only two drivers to break into the 1:16 lap times (1:16.986). This performance would also place Daniel into the Super Pole contest featuring the top eight drivers. The Super Pole is a one-lap shootout with the best time guaranteed the pole in each of the heat races. While Daniel did not win Super Pole he was still guaranteed a front-row start for each of his three heat races. He would sit on pole for his first heat.
"Front row is the place to be" commented Daniel, and he was right, taking wins in the first two heats. Grid for the final is based on cumulative points through the heats with a win scoring '0', second place scoring '2' and so on. Daniel would enter the third heat with zero points effectively giving him pole for the final. In the third heat he played it safe, settling into third place. "We took three points in the last heat" noted Daniel, "but it was a matter of staying out of trouble and not getting into a wreck. I knew that we were still good enough for front row in the final and I was not going to do anything to jeopardize that."
Starting from the front row for the final, Daniel felt good about his chances. "With a good start and a clean run to corner one, we knew we could break away from the field and maybe have a two or three-way battle for the top spot." Unfortunately, it was not to be. On lap three, electrical gremlins caused a malfunction with a fuel pump relay and Daniel was forced to retire. "That's racing" offered Daniel. "Sometimes, no matter how well you think things are going, something can go wrong. You can puncture a tire or slight contact into a corner can bend your suspension enough to upset handling. In our case it was an electronics issue that ended our day. And that's racing."
Daniel's performance throughout the World Final did not go unnoticed however. At the banquet later that day, he was given the Driver Excellence award. Daniel commented, "It is great to be recognized for my efforts especially in an international event conducted by one of the leading auto manufacturers with strong Formula 1 connections. I am happy to come away this season with a championship and a strong World Final performance. Now we set our sights on 2008."
Daniel would like to thank Red Bull Junior Team, Eurointernational, Statik Mountain, Maple Leaf Mortgages and Level Ten Communications for their support in 2007.