PAC: Series 2010 preview

Formula BMW Pacific gears up for watershed season. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- Promoting junior racing drivers remains an important pillar of BMW Motorsport's realigned programme. In 2010 BMW will again support young hopefuls in Formula BMW...

Formula BMW Pacific gears up for watershed season.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- Promoting junior racing drivers remains an important pillar of BMW Motorsport's realigned programme. In 2010 BMW will again support young hopefuls in Formula BMW Pacific and in Formula BMW Europe as they take their first steps in single-seater racing.

Asia Pacific's premier entry-level racing series, Formula BMW Pacific, is all set for a stellar season in 2010, with an optimal combination of high-profile showcase events and challenging four-race weekends, and an exciting line up of new teams and drivers.

Racing across Asia for the eighth year in 2010, the season will open at the Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix in April. The series will also support the FIA Formula One World Championship in Singapore, with the potential for a third event at the inaugural Formula 1 Korean Grand Prix.

Giving the young drivers plenty of track time will be two Asian Festival of Speed meetings, scheduled for Malaysia's Sepang International Circuit and the new F1 circuit in Korea, while the series hopes to return to the Macau Grand Prix for a third successive year for a spectacular season-closer in November.

As well as its impressive race calendar, Formula BMW Pacific can look forward to an exciting field for the season ahead, including new drivers and teams.

Eurointernational, who last year notched up an impressive 25 victories in 35 Formula BMW Europe, Americas and Pacific races, joins the series for a full season in 2010. Seven-time Formula BMW Pacific Team Trophy winners, Questnet Team Qi-Meritus will be back, as will Eurasia Motorsport and E-Rain Racing.

Petronas and Mofaz Racing recently announced they have joined forces to form the Petronas Mofaz Racing Team to contest the series next year. Mofaz Racing has been successful in Europe with Malaysian Fairuz Fauzy, recently confirmed as the third driver for the new Lotus F1 team.

The team has already unveiled its line-up of four Malaysian drivers for next season, with Calvin Wong (17), 5th in the Rookie Cup last year, joining Petronas Formula Xperience Racing School graduates Ryan Ritchie (16), Abang Amirul Hadi Abang Khirudin (17), and female racer Natasha Nur Ida Adam Seatter (16).

The Formula BMW scholarship winners for next year are Jesse Dixon (17) of Australia, and Japan's Kotaro Sakurai (15), and they will line up on the grid with a truly international array of young racers from across Asia Pacific and beyond. The pair will be keen to follow in the footsteps of 2006 Formula BMW Asia Junior Daniel Ricciardo, now a hot prospect for Formula 1 having recently topped a testing session.

In past years, Formula BMW has proven to be the ideal springboard into the world of Formula One for many drivers. Last season alone, five former BMW drivers lined up in this series -- and with great success. Nico Rosberg (DE), Timo Glock (DE), Adrian Sutil (DE) and Sebastien Buemi (CH) all scored World Championship points. Sebastian Vettel (DE) even celebrated four Grand Prix victories and finished the season as runner-up in the Drivers' Championship, behind Jenson Button (GB). Nicolas Hulkenberg (DE) and Bruno Senna (BR) will join the quintet in 2010 as regular F1 drivers. A number of other Formula BMW graduates can also hope to get a taste of Formula One as test and reserve drivers.

Background:

Formula BMW is the world's leading entry-level series in formula racing. In 2010 the two Formula BMW series -- Formula BMW Europe, and Formula BMW Pacific -- will be held in the key motor sport markets of Europe, and pan-Asia. Formula BMW will be regularly held in the support programme of Formula One. The series gives young racing talents the chance to enter professional motor sport in a safe racing car -- the Formula BMW FB02.

The FB02 has been in use since season 2002. It is powered by a 140 hp BMW engine that takes it to a top speed of up to 230 km/h. It ranks among the safest vehicles in its category and exceeds the FIA safety regulations that govern this class of car. Innovations such as the FORS (Formula Rescue Seat) were developed by BMW Motorsport specifically for Formula BMW. Following Formula One, Formula BMW was the first single-seater series outside the US in which the HANS system was made mandatory.

Formula BMW drivers have the opportunity to take part in the Formula BMW Education and Coaching Programme that runs parallel with the racing season. The programme includes driver coaching at the races by professional race drivers, attending a Formula One test, fitness courses, tuition in driving technique and strategy, as well as seminars on sponsoring and sport management.

-credit: fbmw pac

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Jenson Button , Fairuz Fauzy , Timo Glock , Sebastian Vettel , Bruno Senna , Adrian Sutil , Sébastien Buemi , Daniel Ricciardo , Calvin Wong , Ryan Ritchie , Jesse Dixon , Kotaro Sakurai
Teams Lotus F1 Team