NA: Mid-Ohio rounds five, six summary

Alexander Rossi (Eurointernational) added two more first place trophies to his collection as he swept Rounds 5 and 6 of the 2008 Formula BMW Americas Championship at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend. Eurointernational teammate Ricardo...

Alexander Rossi (Eurointernational) added two more first place trophies to his collection as he swept Rounds 5 and 6 of the 2008 Formula BMW Americas Championship at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend. Eurointernational teammate Ricardo Favoretto finished second in both races. Maxime Pelletier (Apex-HBR Racing Team) and Giancarlo Vilarihno (Eurointernational) split the third step of the podium.

Round 5:

Alexander Rossi (Eurointernational) won Round 5 of the 2008 Formula BMW Americas Championship today at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The 16-year old Californian led every lap to the 16-lap contest from the pole position, finishing 14.162 seconds ahead of Eurointernational teammate Ricardo Favoretto. He recorded the race's fastest lap (1:26.708) on lap 13. Rossi's second consecutive victory gives him the Overall points lead. Maxime Pelletier (Apex-HBR Racing Team) finished third. Alexandre Ruiz (Apex-HBR Racing Team) finished fourth and Giancarlo Vilarinho (Eurointernational) rounded out the top-five.

Fastest in practice and scoring both poles this weekend, Rossi continued to show the field only the rear of his No. 16 FB02 as the race began. With a five second gap in hand by lap five; the final two positions of the podium became a fight between Favoretto and Pelletier. Vilarinho picked up the pace and closed on Pelletier as the race unfolded. On lap 14 he could not make a pass stick in turn one and Ruiz was able to sneak past for fourth, equaling his career best Formula BMW finish. Following the race, Vilarinho was assessed a 30-second penalty for avoidable contact moving him to 9th place in the results.

Rossi said, "I was a little nervous before the race because I knew that Ricardo would be fast. I focused on getting a good start and being fast on cold tires. I pushed for the first 13 laps and then backed off a bit."

Favoretto said, "You cannot be on top every race, but I am happy with second and gain important points toward the championship. I had a good fight with Maxime, but it cost me a chance to try to catch Alexander."

Pelletier said, "I had a good start and got right behind Ricardo. I thought I may be able to get by him on the back straight, but he drove a good, defensive line. I was hoping he would make a mistake, but he was very consistent. Towards the end Vilarinho was pressuring me. There were places he was faster than me, but I was able to hold onto third."

The top-finishing Rookies in Round 5 were, Ruiz (P4), Grenier (P6), Raimondo (P7) and Vilarinho (P9).

Round 6 -

16-year old American Alexander Rossi led a 1-2-3 Eurointernational sweep of the Round 6 Formula BMW Americas podium this afternoon. In a repeat of Round 5, he finished ahead of teammate Ricardo Favoretto, this race by a margin of 10.718 seconds. Giancarlo Vilarinho finished third, his second podium appearance this season. Apex-HBR Racing teammates Mikael Grenier and Maxime Pelletier finished fourth and fifth respectively.

The race began on a track that was drying following a downpour some two hours earlier. Rossi got away cleanly with Favoretto, who started fourth, moving past Vilarinho and Raimondo for second by the end of the first lap. By lap five seventh- place starter Grenier had moved into fourth with Ostella, Pelletier and Raimondo close behind. Pelletier and Raimondo passed Ostella, who was fighting a loose cowling and loosing speed on the straights, on lap eight. Vilarinho closed to within .500 seconds of Favoretto in the closing laps, but the day ended with Favoretto taking his second runner-up finish of the weekend. Rossi recorded the fastest lap of the race (1:27.189) on lap 15.

Rossi said, "I really pushed hard this weekend to find every bit of time in practice, qualifying and both races. My car was very good. It allowed me to get into the turns early and that is the secret to going fast here."

Favoretto said, "Overall I am happy with two second-place finishes. Alexander was not to be caught this weekend, but I'll see what I can do with the three races coming up at Lime Rock."

Vilarinho said, "This track was very difficult to learn, but my team is fantastic and I am very happy to reach the podium again."

In Round 6, the top-five Rookies were Vilarinho (P3), Grenier (P4), Ruiz (P6), Ostella (P7) and Raimondo (P8).

Overall points standings following Round 6: Rossi (91), Favoretto (67), Raimondo (63), Vilarinho (48), Pelletier (46), Ruiz (44), Goncalvez (44), Grenier (37), Jovanovic (20), Ostella (13). Rookie points: Raimondo (63), Vilarinho (48), Ruiz (44), Grenier (37), Jovanovic (20), Ostella (13) Team Points: Eurointernational (144), Apex-HBR Racing Team (98), Autotecnica (59), Jensen Motorsport (20)

Rounds 7, 8 and 9 of the 2008 Formula BMW Americas Championship will be held at Lime Rock Park on July 11-12.

-credit: bmw.usa

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Maxime Pelletier , Alexander Rossi , Ricardo Favoretto , Giancarlo Vilarinho , Alexandre Ruiz , Mikael Grenier