STOREY BUILDS ON MOMENTUM AT SECOND FORMULA BMW MEETING IN ASIA Young New Zealand racing driver Dominic Storey has built on the momentum of his debut Formula BMW Asia championship meeting in March with another strong showing at the second ...
STOREY BUILDS ON MOMENTUM AT SECOND FORMULA BMW MEETING IN ASIA
Young New Zealand racing driver Dominic Storey has built on the momentum of his debut Formula BMW Asia championship meeting in March with another strong showing at the second series meeting - again at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia - over the weekend.
Former kart star Storey, one of four promising young drivers from the Asia-Pacific region to earn $US50,000 scholarships from BMW to help compete in this year's pan-Asia Formula BMW Asia Championship, set the fifth fastest lap time in qualifying on Saturday then finished fifth in each of the three races round the state-of-the-art 5.54km Malaysian circuit over the weekend to retain sixth place in the overall championship standing and fourth in the Rookie Cup.
It was another accomplished performance from the 16-year-old year Year 12 student at Auckland's St Kentigern College, who only made the move from karts to cars at the beginning of the year and was competing at only his second motor racing meeting.
Storey was the second quickest of the four scholarship winners in qualifying and was in the thick of the action in all three races.
In the first, on Saturday afternoon, he got away to a brilliant start, stealing a march on Team Eurasia teammate Zahir Ali and Team E-Rain's Sam Abay, then spent the rest of the race disputing third place with second fastest qualifier and fellow BMW Rookie James Grunwell, and Abay.
Abay managed to find a way by when Storey found his car sticking in fourth gear, but Ali ended up back in sixth place after young Western Australian Daniel Ricciardo outfoxed him while he (Ali) was trying to work out how to get past Storey.
In the second race it was Ricciardo's turn to beat Storey at the start then the young Kiwi was delayed when Malaysian hope Aaron Lim tried unsuccessfully to get past.
From then on in it was a battle for survival, Storey finding his mirrors again full of teammate Zahir Ali. Ali tried everything he knew to unseat Storey, but again, the 16-year rookie Kiwi was resolute in defence and crossed the line in fifth with Ali just over a half a second behind.
Ali got his revenge in the third race, splitting BMW Rookies Ricciardo (third) and Storey (fifth) but he had to set the fastest race lap to do it, an indication of just how hard he, Ricciardo and Storey were going.
With fellow Kiwi youngster Earl Bamber qualifying on pole and winning all three races it was a good weekend for New Zealand and Storey is now looking for his first podium of the season at the third meeting of the 2006 season at Beijing in China over the June 10-11 weekend.
Formula BMW is the world's leading entry-level class in Formula racing with dedicated series aimed at uncovering young driving talent in Germany, the UK, Asia and the USA.
The car the drivers use is a purpose-built composite monocoque-based 'wings-and-slicks' single-seater powered by a 140 bhp BMW engine capable of propelling it to speeds up to 230km/h.