AP: Round 14 season finale race report

Lee takes victory in 2004 grand finale. October 17, 2004 -- Taebaek, Korea - Marchy Lee (HKG/Team Meritus) took the final win of the 2004 Formula BMW Asia season today at Korea's 2.5km Taebaek Circuit, bringing his tally of wins to 12 out of 14...

Lee takes victory in 2004 grand finale.

October 17, 2004 -- Taebaek, Korea - Marchy Lee (HKG/Team Meritus) took the final win of the 2004 Formula BMW Asia season today at Korea's 2.5km Taebaek Circuit, bringing his tally of wins to 12 out of 14 races, and breaking the record set by 2003 champion Tung Ho Pin.

Lee dominated the 20-lap race from pole to chequered flag, opening up a 4.371 second lead from second-placed Hanss Lin Po Heng (TPE/Belgravia Motorsport). Third home was 2004 Rookie Cup winner 20-year-old Mehdi Bennani (MOR/Team Meritus).

Second top Rookie Cup finisher and 4th overall was 17-year-old Hamed Al Fardan (BRN/Belgravia Motorsport), who had finished the earlier round in 2nd place overall.

Top BMW Junior finisher was Nik Iruwan Nik Izani (MAS/Team Meritus) who had a slight coming together with Mohammed Al Baharna (BRN/Belgravia Motorsport), resulting in minor damage from which he never quite recovered. Fellow BMW Junior driver Robert T. Boughey (THA/Mindardi Team Asia) had an eventful race. Getting off to a blistering start, he passed several cars before launching an unsuccessful attack on Bennani: "If there's an easy road or a hard road, I'll always choose the latter - ever since I was a kid," he said of his decision not to sit tight for points, but to challenge the Rookie Cup champion. "I outdid myself and went off!".

Local drivers didn't fare well after You, Ken Lee Kook Hyun (KOR/Team E- Rain), and Dado Pena (PHI/Minardi Team Asia) were all involved in an altercation on lap 15. Although all three failed to finish, You fought bravely on until the damage he'd sustained put an end to his valiant attempts to cross the finish line in the final race of the season in front of his home crowd.

Lee finished the season on 250 points, followed by BMW Junior driver, 24- year-old You Kyong-Ouk and Rookie Cup winner Mehdi Bennani (MOR/Team Meritus), both on 124 points.

Behind Bennani in the Rookie classification was Boughey on 160, with Al Fardan just three points adrift on 157, and Izani on 152.

At the championship prize-giving ceremony, 2004 champion Lee was delighted to receive an extra prize in recognition of his extraordinary achievements - a three-day test with the Team Rosberg Formula 3 outfit.

Even as the teams, drivers and organisers celebrated the end of a second highly successful Formula BMW Asia season, preparations were already well advanced for next year. Once again, four BMW scholarships are on offer to Asia's most talented youngsters, each including a cash contribution of US Dollars 50,000 and the year-long Education & Coaching Programme.

-bmw.asia-

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Series Formula BMW
Drivers Mehdi Bennani , Robert T. Boughey , Marchy Lee