STOREY CONFIRMS BMW POTENTIAL IN BEIJING Young New Zealand racing driver Dominic Storey confirmed his potential as one of the country's best prospects for international motor racing success with a podium-winning performance at the third round...
STOREY CONFIRMS BMW POTENTIAL IN BEIJING
Young New Zealand racing driver Dominic Storey confirmed his potential as one of the country's best prospects for international motor racing success with a podium-winning performance at the third round of Formula BMW Asia Championship series in China over the weekend.
The weekend at Beijing's Goldenport circuit was far from plain-sailing for the 16-year-old from Auckland but his performance certainly raised some eyebrows - particularly early on in the weekend when the young single-seater rookie set the second fastest lap time in the qualifying session on Saturday morning then finished second to fastest qualifier, experienced Australian driver Sam Abay, in the first race on Saturday afternoon.
Underlining his pace was the fact that for much of the qualifying session - and this was on a circuit that he had not seen before the weekend - the 16-year-old St Kentigern College sixth former held the fastest time, only being pipped in the dying stages of the session by Abay.
"It was great," he said. "I managed to get a clear lap and the circuit reminds me a bit of the karting tracks at home in New Zealand."
In the race Storey got a good start off the front row of the grid and was untroubled in his run to second, claiming Rookie honours from Western Australian Daniel Ricciardo and Thai-based British driver James Grunwall.
Unfortunately, after such a great start to the weekend, Sunday's races ended up in the 'what-might-have-been' basket, Storey forced to start the first one - in the morning - from pit lane after being slowed by a technical problem on the warm-up lap, then being punted out of third place in the afternoon race by Grunwall.
Despite the pit lane start Storey was able to work his way through the pack and cross the line seventh in the morning race, but in the afternoon one he ended up back in eight place at the line, one lap down on the rest of the field.
It was an undeserved end to a breakthrough weekend but even with eighth place in the third race the young Kiwi has moved up a place - from sixth to fifth - in the overall series standings and with four more rounds (each with three races) to go is in an excellent position to improve even further.
Overall winner with pole position in qualifying and three wins from three starts was Australian Sam Abay.