Victorious Nara joined by two Formula BMW Juniors on podium. Sepang, Malaysia -- Ryuichi Nara (19/JPN/Team E-Rain) notched up his second Formula BMW Pacific win in as many races today, when he took victory in Round 7. The Japanese ace was...
Victorious Nara joined by two Formula BMW Juniors on podium.
Sepang, Malaysia -- Ryuichi Nara (19/JPN/Team E-Rain) notched up his second Formula BMW Pacific win in as many races today, when he took victory in Round 7. The Japanese ace was joined on the podium by two Formula BMW Junior drivers; Marlon Stockinger of the Philippines (17/Eurasia Motorsport), and Australia's Chris Wootton (19/Meritus).
For both Juniors, this was their first podium finish so far this season, and for Wootton it was particularly sweet given that this was his first Formula BMW Pacific meeting.
In the Driver Classification, Hong Kong's Ross Jamison (18/Meritus), 4th in the race, retains the top spot on 92 points, with American Sean McDonagh (18/Team E-Rain) 12 points behind. Nara's two wins put him 3rd in the standings on 65 points, overtaking Formula BMW Junior Simon Moss (16/RSA/Mahara).
Moss, points-leader coming to Malaysia, was unable to take the start of the final race having damaged his monocoque in Round 6. Despite an unlucky weekend, he leaves Malaysia as the Rookie Cup leader with a ten point lead over Stockinger. Malaysia's Dominic Ang (18/Team Holzer PFX) is 3rd in the Rookie Cup standings after and encouraging weekend.
McDonagh, winner of Round 6, got away badly from pole and team mate Nara grabbed the lead. The Japanese racer didn't look back all the way to the flag, despite coming under pressure from Stockinger for much of the 20-lap race. Another driver who didn't get away well was guest driver Kazeem Manzur (GBR/16/Mahara), who dropped back down the field.
Initially McDonagh stayed with Nara at the front, but Stockinger got by to go 2nd by the end of the opening lap. Lap two saw disaster for Colombian youngster Gabby Chaves (Atlantic Racing Team) when he was bumped off the track at turn two.
Jamison, meanwhile, was on a charge from the back of the grid having gone off in Round 6. Malaysia's Arvin Roslan (18/Mahara) was running well in 4th, but had a big off on the second lap which brought out the Safety Car on the following lap.
That bunched up the field, with Nara leading the pack followed by Stockinger, McDonagh and Ang, with Wootton and Jamison behind.
Nara was away well when the Safety Car pulled off on lap 7, and two laps later Wootton got by Ang to go 4th, and then McDonagh, to claim the final podium place. Jamison caught up to McDonagh and began piling on the pressure, getting by on lap 14.
At the front of the field, Stockinger was lapping quicker than the race leader, skilfully slipping into his tow and reducing the gap to just four tenths of a second.
However, the unshakable Nara took the flag to record a superb second series victory, followed by the triumphant Formula BMW Juniors, and Jamison in 4th.
Nara admitted that this time he had looked in his mirrors to check on Stockinger, "but only a little bit". The talented youngster believes his boxing training, which he has been doing since he was just 10 years old, has helped his mental, as well as his physical, strength.
Wootton was thrilled to be on the podium during his first Formula BMW Pacific weekend, having had to sit out the opening rounds due to licensing issues: "I had great pace this weekend, so I knew a podium was possible. I've tested on both circuits (the Grand Prix and North tracks), but I hadn't driven a car for three months before coming here."
The final race rounded out a superb weekend of competition, which saw four different winners in five rounds, and a field made up of drivers from no fewer than six Continents.
The 2008 Formula BMW Pacific season continues in July, when the region's finest young single seater racers will travel to Indonesia's 3.960km Sentul Circuit outside Jakarta.
The results and current championship standings are provisional, pending the completion of technical scrutineering.
-credit: fbmw pac