AP: Chengdu rounds 15 and 16 summary

Thai newcomer and Malaysian ace take win apiece in China. Thai newcomer Jack Lemvard (CIMB Team Qi-Meritus) took his first ever single seater victory in Round 15 of Formula BMW Asia, while Malaysian team mate Jazeman Jaafar notched up his second...

Thai newcomer and Malaysian ace take win apiece in China.

Thai newcomer Jack Lemvard (CIMB Team Qi-Meritus) took his first ever single seater victory in Round 15 of Formula BMW Asia, while Malaysian team mate Jazeman Jaafar notched up his second win of the weekend and 7th of the season so far in the second race.

Jazeman was second in the first race, followed by BMW Junior and another team mate Ross Jamison (17/HKG), who took the Rookie Cup win. In the second race, it was Lemvard's turn to finish runner-up to Jazeman, while Zahir Ali of Indonesia (20/Team TARADTM) took the final podium place. Jamison once again took the Rookie Cup win finishing behind James Grunwell (18/THA/CIMB Team Q-Meritus) in 5th overall.

Jaafar's performance means he regains the lead of the Driver Classification with a 44 point lead over 2nd placed Ali, with Grunwell now relegated to 3rd, 61 points behind the leader. With six rounds still to go Jamison's consistency is paying off and he now has a 64 point lead over Mitchell to top the Rookie Cup classification.

It was a real test of both man and machine on the brand-new 3.376km Chengdu Goldenport Circuit in China which is both technically and physically demanding, with the first race run in wet conditions and the second on a drying track.

For the first race of the day, run in the wet, Ali had another bad start from pole but was ahead going in to the first turn. However, a brush with Jazeman was followed shortly thereafter by a spin which put him back down the field. He eventually finished 7th. The opening stages of the race were hectic, with Grunwell and BMW Junior Kyle Mitchell (16/RSA/Eurasia Motorsport) both put back down the running order after incidents. At the front of the chasing pack Jazeman had inherited the lead from Ali, with Jamison and Lemvard in hot pursuit.

BMW Junior Khushlani (17/IND/Eurasia Motorsport) had got away well and was up to 4th from 11th on the grid by the second lap, followed by fellow BMW Junior and local hero Zhu.

Lemvard got the better of Jamison on lap 3 to go second. The Safety Car was called out on lap 6, closing up the field and when the race resumed Grunwell had climbed back up to 7th before crashing out on the next lap. Mitchell was given a drive-through penalty, which put pay to any chance of a recovery. Meanwhile newcomer Lemvard, in just his third ever single seater race, was keeping team mate Jazeman firmly in his sights, and made a decisive move on the penultimate lap to snatch victory. Jamison was relieved to have stayed out of trouble to collect third place points and take the Rookie Cup win.

Said Lemvard, who set the fastest lap of the race: "I'm extremely happy to have won. I got a good start, but the first few laps were really hectic. I like racing in the wet, so was in my element!". Team mate Jazeman was frustrated to have missed out on the win and valuable championship points, and admitted he had made a mistake in the closing stages which allowed Lemvard to get by.

On a drying track, round 16 saw pole-sitter Lemvard get away well followed by Jazeman, with Khushlani getting past Jamison on the opening lap to go 3rd. Mitchell had charged through the field from the back of the grid and up to 5th, while Ali had made up a place to 6th. In a race which saw a high rate of attrition, the opening seconds of the race saw BMW Junior David Zhu (17/CHN/CIMB Team Qi-Meritus), Johan Adzmi (17/MAS/Team Holzer PFX) and team mate Melvin Moh (19/MAS) all come to grief. At turn one Imran Shaharom (19/MAS/Team Holzer PFX) spun and, taking evasive action, both Zhu and Moh went off.

The Safety Car was called out and at the re-start on lap 6, Jazeman grabbed the lead from Lemvard, Khushlani held on to 3rd, and both Mitchell and Ali passed Jamison. Disaster struck when Mitchell came together with Khushlani, putting them both out of the race.

That promoted Ali to 3rd, which he held to the flag, followed by Huzair Harun Rasip (19/MAS/CIMB Team Qi-Meritus) and Grunwell, who got by Jamison to go 5th. The Safety Car was called out for a second time when Huzair went off, and this time the race did not resume and was flagged at 15 laps.

Indian racer Cchiranjeev R. BEDI (17/Engstler Bollywood Racing) has shown steady improvement throughout the season and his 6th place finish in the race was testament to this. He said: "Without doubt this is a very good result for me, and very good experience. I had a fight with Shohei in the later stages of the race and I had to defend my position. Luckily for me, the Safety Car came out!"

-credit: fbmw.asia

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Jazeman Jaafar , Zahir Ali , Ross Jamison , Kyle Mitchell , Melvin Moh , David Zhu , Johan Adzmi , Jack Lemvard , Imran Shaharom