Abay still tops with Indonesian win. Citeureup Bogor, Indonesia -- Australian Sam Abay (18/Team E-Rain)) strengthened his position at the top of the championship standings by winning the third race of the weekend at Indonesia's 4km Sentul ...
Abay still tops with Indonesian win.
Citeureup Bogor, Indonesia -- Australian Sam Abay (18/Team E-Rain)) strengthened his position at the top of the championship standings by winning the third race of the weekend at Indonesia's 4km Sentul Circuit today. Rival Earl Bamber (NZL/Team Meritus), who had looked unbeatable winning the two previous races, went out of the race with a broken gear box. The remaining podium places were both taken by BMW Juniors with James Grunwell (THA/Team Meritus) and Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Eurasia Motorsport) second and third, Grunwell also notching up his second Rookie Cup win.
Abay's 4th victory of the season gives him an impressive 33 point lead over Bamber on the championship leaderboard, while Grunwell is just 20 points adrift of the Kiwi in 3rd. In the Rookie Cup, Bamber's lead over Grunwell, who overtakes Riccardo into 2nd place, now stands at seven points after 11 rounds. However, Ricciardo is a mere two points adrift of the Thai driver as the competition continues to intensify.
Off the start, Bamber got away well, followed by Abay, Grunwell and Ricciardo. BMW Junior Dominic Storey's weekend didn't get any better when he spun out on lap two. Bamber looked to be storming towards a third victory, despite a strong challenge from Abay, when a gearbox problem struck on Lap 7, slowing him down and eventually putting him out of the race. Grunwell then took the chase to Abay, and a crowd-pleasing battle ensued all the way to the chequered flag. Ricciardo was unable to close the gap to the pair, but was delighted to have made it to the podium.
BMW Junior Aaron Lim (MAS/Eurasia Motorsport) just missed out on a podium finish but his 4th place means he leapfrogs over Storey in the points to 5th position. Lim was followed across the line by local hero and team mate Zahir Ali who is now 7th in the championship and who had the added pressure of his home race this weekend.
Abay was disappointed at the loss of Bamber, but not for long: "I knew this time I could stuck with Earl. We made some changes to the car and it was perfect. When he made a mistake and I got past. Then I couldn't see him in my rear view mirrors, which was disappointing. Then I saw James coming up in my rear view mirrors!"
The arrival of the region's premier single seater series in Indonesia for the first time generated massive interest, particularly amongst the many young karters and the media, with several thousand fans also turning out to enthusiastically cheer the field.
After a successful debut outing in the Southern Hemisphere, Formula BMW Asia now travels to Thailand's Bira Circuit for Rounds 12 to 14 on September 2 and 3.