AP: 2008 Scholarship Qualifying

BMW Motorsport invitation to a fast-track career. BMW Motorsport is inviting fledgling racers to take the fast lane to a career in international motorsport with four scholarships for the 2008 Formula BMW Asia season, the proven stepping stone...

BMW Motorsport invitation to a fast-track career.

BMW Motorsport is inviting fledgling racers to take the fast lane to a career in international motorsport with four scholarships for the 2008 Formula BMW Asia season, the proven stepping stone from karting to the world of top-level motor racing.

Anyone aged between 16 and 21, and of any nationality except EU and USA citizens may sign up for the evaluation programme scheduled for 13 to 16 December this year at Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Professional instructors from BMW Motorsport will assess each candidate and those who display the greatest all-round potential will be awarded a cash contribution to the 2008 season of 50,000 Euro (approximately 70,000 USD), which will include a provision of 10.000 Euro for spare parts, plus a full season in the Formula BMW Asia Education & Coaching Programme.

Four scholarships are available, with one earmarked for the winner of this year's Rookie Cup. The cost of participation is 2,300 Euro (approximately 3,450 USD), and entry forms may be obtained from Formula BMW Asia Series Manager Matthijs Hoitink at Matthijs@motorsportasia.com.

The Scholarship Trials are specifically designed to allow BMW Motorsport professionals to assess which candidates have the greatest promise to learn. Formula BMW Asia Chief Instructor Mike Strotmann: "Any individual who has the determination to succeed, an element of natural talent, and an ability to learn has the potential to win a Scholarship. Even if a candidate has only a very limited experience in karts, he or she may be exactly what we are looking for as we seek those who will benefit most from early expert instruction. We are looking at the candidates with a view to long-term professional career, and the success of our graduates proves we have the formula absolutely right."

While former Formula BMW drivers such as Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg and Ralf Schumacher have already made it to Formula One, many others are well on their way including several graduates of the Asian series. Ho Pin Tung, Formula BMW Asia champion in 2003, was rewarded with a Formula 1 test for his exceptional performance by BMW Motorsport, and has since progressed to GP2 this season having won the German Formula 3 Championship last year.

Two former Formula BMW Asia Juniors, Armaan Ebrahim of India and Aaron Lim of Malaysia, represent their respective countries in A1 GP, while another, Michael Patrizi of Australia, is this season competing in the ultra-competitive Formula 3 Euroseries after a year in Formula BMW Asia in 2005. Countless other graduates have moved up to higher formulae, demonstrating the indisputable success of BMW Motorsport's junior development programme.

The global reach of Formula BMW has enabled both Patrizi, and last year's championship runner-up and fellow Australian Sam Abay to make the all-important move to Europe with the Formula BMW UK Championship. From next season, the Formula BMW Germany and Formula BMW UK Championships will merge to create Formula BMW Europe which will run as part of the European rounds of the FIA Formula One World Championship, providing the ultimate platform for young drivers.

BMW Juniors are entered in the Formula BMW Asia Rookie Cup (as well as being eligible for the overall championship), the winner of which may be offered a scholarship for the following season. In addition, all drivers are eligible to enter the end-of-season Formula BMW World Final, to be held from November 22 to 25 this year in Spain, the winner of which takes the ultimate prize and every young driver's dream -- a Formula One test with the BMW Sauber F1 Team.

The benefits of winning coveted scholarship and becoming a BMW Junior are far greater than just financial support and enrolment in the region's most comprehensive and professional training programme. Close co-operation with the BMW Sauber F1 Team is a vital component of the programme, and simply being selected by one of the world's biggest and most respected names in motorsport immediately draws attention to the BMW Juniors, and with it the support of high-profile commercial sponsors and the interest of the international motorsport community.

One driver who has already booked his place in the Scholarship Trials for the 2008 season is 19-year-old Indonesian Ryan Haryanto. He beat three other candidates to earn an all-expenses-paid trip to Kuala Lumpur during a driver talent search organised by Formula BMW Asia and PT BMW Indonesia in July. Having impressed the assessors, multiple Indonesian karting champion Haryanto has earned the chance to take the next step in his career and win a Formula BMW Asia scholarship.

In order to provide all drivers with identical opportunities for success, equality is the bedrock of Formula BMW. All drivers are equipped with the tightly regulated FB02 car, and set-up changes and testing sessions are strictly controlled, thereby reducing cost variables and placing driver talent at the forefront of the programme.

The Education and Coaching Programme, unique in the Asia Pacific region, is designed to equip a driver with all the knowledge and expertise he needs for a successful racing career. Instruction is provided in physical and mental fitness, nutrition, driving technique and strategy, chassis set-up and vehicle dynamics, sponsorship and media and public relations.

Background:

Formula BMW is the world's leading entry-level class in Formula racing. In 2007 the series will be held in Germany, the UK, Asia and the USA. Up-and-coming drivers as young as 15-years-old are given the opportunity of entering motor racing with the high-tech, standard FB02 race car.

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

In 2007, Formula BMW will be staged four 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 Sebastian Vettel, Timo Glock, Adrian Sutil and Nico Rosberg.

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."

-credit: fbmw.asia

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Nico Rosberg , Timo Glock , Sebastian Vettel , Adrian Sutil , Armaan Ebrahim , Mario Theissen , Michael Patrizi , Sam Abay
Teams Sauber