AP: Filipino Tyson Sy Shanghai race notes

Sy wins Shanghai FBMW race but loses the trophy Filipino Tyson Sy won Round 12 of the Formula BMW Asia race, which was held as a supporting event of the recent Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, but received a one-minute time penalty for jumping...

Sy wins Shanghai FBMW race but loses the trophy

Filipino Tyson Sy won Round 12 of the Formula BMW Asia race, which was held as a supporting event of the recent Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, but received a one-minute time penalty for jumping the start.

16-year-old Tyson Sy driving for Minardi Team Asia-junior team of the Minardi Formula One organization-won round 12 of the Formula BMW Asia Series 2004, which was held as a support event for the Chinese F1 Grand Prix, in Shanghai, China only to lose it after race stewards meted the Filipino a one-minute penalty for jumping the start, which dropped him to 12th place. The victory was subsequently awarded to Sy's Indonesian teammate Moreno Soeprapto, who finished second while Nik Iruwan Nik Izani of Malaysia claimed third place.

Sy, who is sponsored by San Miguel Corp., Bosch, Demvels Motorsports, Tiger Steel, A-Toy Body Kits and H&R Springs started from fourth on the grid and beat polesitter Marchy Lee of Hong Kong and China's Hanss Lin Po-Heng to the first corner. As Sy accelerated away, Lin turned into Lee, sending them both into a spin and out of the race. The incident gave the Filipino wonder boy more leverage as he led the field around the 5.45-kilometer long circuit all the way to the checkered flag. However, as Sy pulled into Parc Ferme, race officials informed him that one minute was added to his time because his car had rolled off before all the red lights went out at the start.

Observers say that Sy, who finished third in the previous round behind newly-crowned champion Lee and second placer Hamed Al Fardan of Bahrain, may have fallen victim to his own lightning-fast reflexes when he released his clutch, causing the car to gently roll out of its starting box prematurely. On any other track, the roll may have been too small to notice, but on the state-of-the-art Shanghai International Circuit, sensitive electronic sensors on the starting line picked up the car's movement.

"I am obviously disappointed to have won on the road and then to receive the one minute jump start penalty. At the start, the lights were on for a long time and I just anticipated them a fraction of a second too early," Sy recounted.

According to Minardi Team Asia team principal Mark Goddard, "Unfortunately, the regulations state that we can't lodge an appeal against a ruling made by the starting line judge. What's important is that Tyson drove a brilliant race and that he won it on the road."

BMW Motorsport director Mario Theissen, who came to the Minardi Team Asia garage after the race said: "It must have been a heartbreaker for him (Tyson Sy). I think our sporting code is inappropriate. A drive through penalty (instead of a one-minute penalty added to his race time) might have been better. You can't let a driver go on and finish in first place only to tell him after the race that he didn't win."

Despite the setback, Minardi Formula One owner Paul Stoddart, who watched the entire race from the Minardi Team Asia pit wall, was impressed by Sy's performance. "It was a shame for Tyson but once again he proved that he is the Philippines' top driver and we shall be following his career carefully."

The final two rounds of the Formula BMW Asia series will be held at South Korea's Taebaek Circuit on October 16 and 17.

-ta-

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Paul Stoddart , Mario Theissen , Moreno Soeprapto , Tyson Sy , Marchy Lee , Lin Po-Heng