Thai Triumphs in Bahrain. Sakhir, Bahrain - Thailand's Robert Boughey (Team Meritus), 22, raced his way to a superb maiden win in Round 2 of Formula BMW Asia at the Bahrain International Circuit today. Boughey stole the march on pole-man and ...
Thai Triumphs in Bahrain.
Sakhir, Bahrain - Thailand's Robert Boughey (Team Meritus), 22, raced his way to a superb maiden win in Round 2 of Formula BMW Asia at the Bahrain International Circuit today. Boughey stole the march on pole-man and local hero Salman Al Khalifa (BAH/Team E-Rain), 23, off the start and never looked back. The BMW Junior didn't put a wheel wrong throughout the 10-lap race, and took the chequered flag with a 1.344 second margin. Al Khalifa crossed the line in second having dramatically taken fellow Bahraini Mohammed Al Baharna (Minardi Team Asia) on the final lap.
Boughey, now embarking on his second Formula BMW Asia season, finished Round 1 in sixth position and his win today was the culmination of skill, determination and sheer hard work. For Al Khalifa, winner of the opening round, and Al Baharna, it was a proud moment to see the Bahrain flag flying on the podium at their country's Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Al Khalifa tops the championship leaderboard after two rounds with 35 points, followed by Boughey on 26, and Charlie-Ro Charlez (MAS/Team Meritus) just one point adrift.
Said Al Khalifa of his final lap dash: "I was gunning for first all week - pole positions and two wins - so I wasn't going to settle for anything less than second!" Second he got, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process. "I'm grateful to my team, Patrick (Roberts), my engineer who is so experienced, and my sponsor and long-time supporter, local Motorsport outfit, the Unstoppabulls."
For Boughey, it was a race to remember, but his start was key: "I had the revs right, and just kept looking ahead. When I could see there was a gap, I eased off slightly, and just concentrated on holding on."
At the start, Boughey roared off the line, flanked by Al Khalifa and Al Baharna only inches behind, but held his line into Turn 1 and from that point on was away and clear to the chequered flag. However, it was non- stop action behind him with the two Bahraini drivers dicing with fellow countryman Hamed Al Fardan (BAH/Team Meritus) and producing some thrilling on-track action.
Fifteen-year-old Indian driver, Armaan Ebrahim (Team E-Rain), greatly impressed, just missing out on a podium finish to come in fourth, and topping the Rookie Cup finishers. The talented youngster, son of India's first ever Formula 3 driver, started from sixth on the grid but a mistake put him back several places. However, he had worked his way back up through the field by the chequered flag.
Second Rookie Cup finisher was Charlie-Ro Charlez, 19, who had scored a phenomenal second place in Round 1 and leads the Rookie Cup standings from Ebrahim after two rounds, with BMW Junior driver An Suk-Won (KOR/Team E- Rain), 18, in third.
Newcomers to the series, Ao's Racing Team, learned much from their first weekend of Formula BMW Asia, and the development of the three China drivers, particularly BMW Junior Wang Jian-Wei, 20 and Chia On, just 15, will be fascinating to follow through the season.
Rounds 3 and 4 of Formula BMW Asia will be held at Malaysia's Sepang International Circuit on May 14 and 15.
Formula BMW is the world's leading entry-level class in Formula racing. In 2005 the series will be held in Germany, Britain, 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 FB2 race car.
This racing car has been seen on the grid since 2002 and has set standards particularly on the safety technology front. A single-seater propelled by a 140 bhp BMW motorcycle engine up to 230km/h, it exceeds by far the safety requirements for its class. BMW Motorsport has developed the FORS Formula Rescue Race Seat especially for Formula BMW and the HANS safety system is also mandatory.
In 2005, Formula BMW will be staged five times as part of the Formula One Support programme. All the series offer a multifaceted Education and Coaching Programme as well as sponsorship for promising racing talents. The best-known alumni of this talent hothouse are Formula One drivers Ralf Schumacher, Christian Klien and Timo Glock.
BMW Motorsport Director, Mario Theissen: "Formula BMW offers talented young drivers more than just a car. In the Education and Coaching Programme we have designed specially for them, they learn everything they need to know to hold their own in the big wide world of motor racing. Formula BMW has shot out of the blocks to become the top entry-level class for Formula racing worldwide."