STOREY QUALIFIES AND FINISHES SEVENTH ON FORMULA BMW ASIA DEBUT Young New Zealand racing driver Dominic Storey qualified and finished seventh in his Formula BMW Asia motor racing series debut at the Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix at Sepang on...
STOREY QUALIFIES AND FINISHES SEVENTH ON FORMULA BMW ASIA DEBUT
Young New Zealand racing driver Dominic Storey qualified and finished seventh in his Formula BMW Asia motor racing series debut at the Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix at Sepang on Saturday afternoon.
In the first of two races for the 2006 Formula BMW Asia championship at the Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix meeting this weekend the 17-year-old Auckland karter did not put a foot wrong, qualifying within a second of pole man, Michael Sam Abay from Australia, and crossing the line less than a second behind sixth placed 2004 series runner-up You Kyoung Ouk from Korea and just over 14 seconds behind race winner - and recent New Zealand visitor - Hamad Al Fardan from Bahrain.
Eighth placed Mohammed Al Baharna , also from Bahrain, was a further three seconds back with five more seconds to Indian driver Aditya Akkineni.
Second behind Al Farden, after 10 laps of the 5.6 km Sepang circuit, was second fastest qualifier James Grunwall, the British-born driver representing Thailand, with Abay third, the other young New Zealand driver in the field, Earl Bamber, fourth, and highly-rated Western Australian Daniel Ricciardo fifth.
After the race Al Farden, who competed in New Zealand's Toyota Racing Series over the summer, and who has contested the Formula BMW Asia championship for the past two years told reporters:
"That was one of my best races ever. I admit I did made one mistake, but I had a good start and felt very confident."
Al Fardan, who set the fifth fastest time in the first qualifying session, was on a charge right from the lights, working his way through the field to take the lead early on. However, the chasing pack was right behind him with Abay leading Grunwell until the closing stages when the Australian made a mistake and the Thai, who is on pole for today's race, sailed through to take second.
The second Formula BMW Asia, for which Storey qualified eighth fastest, will be run over 10 laps of the 5.6km Sepang International Circuit today prior to the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix.
Formula BMW is the world's leading entry-level class in Formula racing. In 2006 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.
Dominic Storey is one of four promising young drivers from the Asia Pacific region to win $US50,000 scholarships from BMW to help them contest this year's Formula BMW Asia Championship. The 17-year-old St Kentigern College student is also the only true rookie at this weekend's meeting, having never raced a single-seater until this weekend's meeting.