World Final Friday report

Vietoris and Maki claim top spots in World Final qualifyings. Arguably the most important race weekend of the year is underway for the 37 participants of the DELL Formula BMW World Final. At Valencia's "Circuit de la Comunitat" on Friday, the ...

Vietoris and Maki claim top spots in World Final qualifyings.

Arguably the most important race weekend of the year is underway for the 37 participants of the DELL Formula BMW World Final. At Valencia's "Circuit de la Comunitat" on Friday, the young drivers - divided into two different groups - competed in two exciting qualifying sessions.

The fastest driver from group 1 was Christian Vietoris (GER) of Josef Kaufmann Racing. The 17- year old, who won the 2006 Formula BMW Germany title, lapped the 4.005- kilometre circuit in 1:38.556 minutes. His team-mate Josef Král (CZE) finished second; Daniel Morad (USA/AIM Autosport) came third.

In group 2, Mika Mäki (FIN/Eifelland Racing) secured first place after recording a 1:39.061-minute lap. Trailing the Scandinavian by just 0.060 seconds, Stefano Coletti (MON/EuroInternational) took second position, with Mäki's team-mate Martin Ragginger (AUT) in third place. Besides the top-three drivers, the fourth-placed youngsters from each group will also take in part in the Super Pole Competition, which will take place on Saturday at 9:00hrs. In group1, Nick de Bruijn (NLD/ASL- Team Mücke-Motorsport) will enter the single-lap qualifying, Robert Wickens (CAN/EuroInternational) will represent group 2 alongside Mäki, Ragginger and Coletti.

"I clearly cannot ask for more," said Vietoris, who had already finished first in two out of three free practice sessions in his group. "I hope that it will prove to be an advantage to start as the penultimate driver in the Super Pole contest; the track should offer a lot more grip later on. I'm satisfied with how things have gone so far this weekend and watched Marco Holzer's Formula One test very closely. Now, I'm even more fired up to win here."

Mäki, who finished runner-up in the Formula BMW Germany behind Vietoris, said, "I knew that I would be strong in qualifying. We only used a new set of tires in the third free practice session - and topped the timesheets. It is interesting to see that the fight I had with Christian in the Formula BMW Germany will apparently carry on here as well. I'm sure that will also be the case on Saturday and Sunday."

Conditions for the two 30-minute qualifying sessions were ideal. While dark clouds gradually moved in over the circuit, the rain held off. While Vietoris took the lead in group 1 quite early and managed to defend it right until the end, group 2 proved to be a closer fought contest. Wickens was the leader for much of the session, but Mäki eventually passed the 2006 Formula BMW USA Champion nine minutes before the checkered flag. Coletti and Ragginger also moved ahead of the Canadian.

Saturday's Super Pole Competition will determine the grid positions for the six intermediate heats, which will decide the starting grid for the DELL Formula BMW World Final. The fastest of the two groups of competitors in the fight for super pole will produce the pole-sitter for the first heat. The final race, in which a test drive with the BMW Sauber F1 Team is up for grabs, will start on Sunday at 14:30hrs local time (13:30hrs GMT).

-credit: bmw

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Robert Wickens , Marco Holzer , Christian Vietoris , Daniel Morad , Josef Kral , Mika Maki , Nick de Bruijn
Teams Sauber