AP: Michael Patrizi Beijing summary

Patrizi denied win but scores podium Australian Michael Patrizi has endured the highs and lows of motorsport at Rounds 7 and 8 of the Formula BMW Asia Championship, held at the Goldenport circuit in Beijing, China over the weekend. Formula BMW...

Patrizi denied win but scores podium

Australian Michael Patrizi has endured the highs and lows of motorsport at Rounds 7 and 8 of the Formula BMW Asia Championship, held at the Goldenport circuit in Beijing, China over the weekend.

Formula BMW Asia Junior Patrizi reinforced his speed on the series by qualifying second for both races. In both qualifying sessions Patrizi was unable to set a quick time late in the session due t yellow flags, making the dual front row starting spots a pleasing result.

Patrizi was first to greet the chequered flag in Race 1 after what was a sensational race with series leader Salman Rashid Al Khalifa. Patrizi shadowed the Bahraini driver for the majority of the 20 laps of Race 1 before executing a brilliant late-braking pass to take the lead on the final lap with just two corners remaining.

"It was a really great race," said Patrizi. "I followed him really closely and just set him up for the end of the race. On the last lap I knew what to do and I went inside of him at the hairpin and for the next two or so hours I was able to enjoy being the race winner."

Patrizi was ecstatic to be first home and was jubilant in celebrating his maiden Formula BMW win on the podium in front of the huge Chinese crowd. But Patrizi's win was cruelly denied when he was given a 30 second penalty post-race for having his car's front wing 50 millimetres over the white line of the grid space at the race's start.

Patrizi took the penalty on the chin, deciding not to protest but rather focus on Race 2, giving him an eighth place finish.

"I can't complain because rules are rules and I was 50mm over the line. There was nothing I could do. One of the other teams protested me and that's that. I just wanted to look to the next race."

Race 2 saw Patrizi take the lead in what was a frantic three-way battle on the semi-wet track and all was looking good for the West Australian driver to set things right with a Race 2 win.

That was not to be in the end, as Patrizi lost momentum when he got sideways after touching a slippery painted kerb, losing enough time to drop to second, where he stayed, deciding to settle for a podium and strong points finish.

"It was a really close race," said Patrizi of Race 2. "It was hard to be consistent as the track was always changing being so wet. I had the lead with four laps to go but just made a small slip with two laps remaining, but was pleased with second."

Patrizi took an immediate liking to the Goldenport circuit in Beijing, China, clearly the top rookie for the weekend and again gaining a valuable haul of points as the series heads to Korea next month.

-Chris Jordan

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Series Formula BMW
Drivers Michael Patrizi