PAC: Series Okayama preview

Formula BMW Pacific heads to Japan for penultimate 2009 meeting. Okayama, Japan -- Making its debut in Okayama, the region's premier entry-level racing series returns to Japan for the first time since 2005, with Rounds 13&14 in support of the...

Formula BMW Pacific heads to Japan for penultimate 2009 meeting.

Okayama, Japan -- Making its debut in Okayama, the region's premier entry-level racing series returns to Japan for the first time since 2005, with Rounds 13&14 in support of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (FIA WTCC).

Formula BMW Pacific will join other members of the BMW Motorsport family in Okayama, including teams and competitors in the FIA WTCC and the Asian Le Mans series, and there is no better way to showcase the series than with a bumper grid for the penultimate meeting of the 2009 season.

Rio Haryanto (INA/16/Questnet Team Qi-Meritus), Gary Thompson (IRL/17/E-Rain Racing) and Formula BMW Pacific Junior Axcil Jefferies (ZIM/15/Eurasia Motorsport) are the three drivers in contention for the 2009 Drivers title, with Thompson and Jefferies in a tight battle for the Rookie Cup. The three will test their mettle in Japan, while guest drivers, including the recently-crowned Formula BMW Europe champion Felipe Nasr (BRA/17/Eurointernational), who dominated in Singapore last month, will be on the hunt for glory in Okayama.

Making his Formula BMW Pacific debut is Daiki Sasaki (18/Eurasia Motorsport) from Saitama, Japan. With compatriot Ryuichi Nara the first Japanese driver to win a Formula BMW Pacific race in 2008, Sasaki, the 2008 All Japan Kart Champion in the KF-1 Class, has the opportunity to add his name to the roll of honour.

Current Drivers Classification leader Haryanto continues to impress as the young Indonesian has now scored maximum points in each of the past seven races, and leads Thompson, his closest rival, by 33 points. Thompson, the only driver to have scored points in each of the season's races, leads the Rookie Cup standings ahead of Jefferies, who is third in the overall standings.

Formula BMW Pacific Junior Chris Wootton (AUS/20/Eurasia Motorsport) arrives in Japan after a strong showing in Singapore, where he scored third-place points for both Rounds 11&12. Fellow Junior Steel Guiliana (AUS/17/Atlantic Racing Team) recorded a top ten finish in Singapore on his first race on a street circuit. Rounding out the top five in the Drivers Classification are Fahmi Ilyas (MAS/17/E-Rain Racing) and Indonesia's Dustin Sofyan (15/Questnet Team Qi-Meritus).

A truly international series, in Japan Formula BMW Pacific will welcome guest drivers from Europe and the Americas, including Nasr, who will arrive in Okayama after a dominant season in Formula BMW Europe and, more recently, a perfect weekend with Formula BMW Pacific in support of last month's Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix where he won both races from pole position.

Joining Nasr on the Eurointernational team are Australian James Kovacic (16) and American Michael Lewis (18), who both competed with Formula BMW Pacific in Singapore, as well as Facu Regalia (ESP/17), who will make his series debut after finishing eighth in Formula BMW Europe this year.

Eurointernational recently celebrated their victorious 2009 season, which saw them win both the Drivers Classification and Team Championship in Formula BMW Europe, as well make a clean sweep of the Team Championship, Drivers Classification and Rookie Cup in Formula BMW Americas. Over 10,000 spectators turned out for a celebratory roadshow in Frosinone, Italy, the hometown of Eurointernational team principal Antonio Ferrari. It was a true community event with a small street circuit constructed around City Hall, several start simulations, a showcase of BMW cars and displays by the City of Forsinone, the Automobile Club of Italy and the Italian Racing Federation.

-credit: fbmw pac

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Series Formula BMW
Drivers Michael Lewis , Facu Regalia , Chris Wootton , Ryuichi Nara , Axcil Jefferies , Fahmi Ilyas , Rio Haryanto , Gary Thompson , Steel Guiliana , Dustin Sofyan , James Kovacic , Felipe Nasr , Daiki Sasaki