Indonesia brings new testing ground. Sepang, Malaysia -- As Formula BMW Pacific embarks on the second half of the 2008 season, Indonesia's 3.960km Sentul International Circuit represents a new testing ground for the region's fledgling talent.
Indonesia brings new testing ground.
Sepang, Malaysia -- As Formula BMW Pacific embarks on the second half of the 2008 season, Indonesia's 3.960km Sentul International Circuit represents a new testing ground for the region's fledgling talent. With the first seven rounds run on Malaysia's Sepang International Circuit, albeit on both the Grand Prix and short tracks, the Indonesian circuit will bring fresh challenges for the series newcomers.
However, one driver with the advantage of previous experience of the circuit is championship leader Ross Jamison of Hong Kong (18/Meritus), contesting his second season of Formula BMW Pacific this year. Jamison holds a 12 points lead over Sean McDonagh (18/USA/Team E-Rain), who has also raced there before, scoring his first series podium in Indonesia in 2007.
Although both drivers will have the advantage of track experience, there is no doubt that McDonagh's E-Rain team mate Ryuichi Nara (19/JPN) will be a man to watch. Having been plagued with bad luck at the start of the season, Nara had a chance to really show his talent in May with two race wins and a podium finish in three races. It is likely the Japanese ace will continue his blinding form in the second half of the season.
Lady Luck has not been smiling recently on talented South African and Formula BMW Junior Simon Moss (16/Mahara). Although Moss still leads the Rookie Cup standings, after a podium finish in his first ever Formula BMW Pacific race, followed by two wins, he was the confronted by a catalogue of misfortunes which included a cracked monocoque which forced him to sit out two races and miss out on valuable points.
Second in the Rookie Cup standings is another Formula BMW Junior, Marlon Stockinger (17/PHI/Eurasia Motorsport). Gaining confidence with every outing and, like Moss, benefitting from the series' comprehensive Education & Coaching Programme, Stockinger scored his first podium finish in Round 7 in May.
Third in the Rookie Cup going in to Round 8 is Team Holzer PFX racer Dominic Ang of Malaysia (18), who is keeping the Rookie Cup title in sight through consistent performances.
The youngest driver in the field, and the series' only South American, Gabby Chaves of Colombia, is also learning the ropes quickly. He and series newcomers Atlantic Racing Team already have one podium finish to their names, but will be facing a track of which they have no previous experience when they arrive in Indonesia.
Formula BMW Junior Chris Wootton of Australia (19/Meritus), who was forced to sit out the opening two rounds due to licensing issues, has rapidly made up for lost time in the car, finishing on the podium in Malaysia in May.
The Formula BMW Juniors were recently given an opportunity to visit the BMW Sauber F1 Team factory at Hinwil in Switzerland, and attend a test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. The drivers attended Education & Coaching seminars and toured the factory, and experienced a tour of the garage, were given pit lane and team radio access, and got to meet their heroes -- Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica -- during the test.
Rounds 8 and 9 of Formula BMW Pacific will be held on Saturday, July 19, with Rounds 10 and 11 on the Sunday. All races will be over 15 Laps.