Pac: Series Scholarship Trials preview

Opportunity knocks for fledgling racers. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- Having just crowned 2007 scholarship winner Ross Jamison (18/HKG/Meritus) as this year's Formula BMW Pacific champion, the search is now on to find the next crop of ...

Opportunity knocks for fledgling racers.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- Having just crowned 2007 scholarship winner Ross Jamison (18/HKG/Meritus) as this year's Formula BMW Pacific champion, the search is now on to find the next crop of talented youngsters to follow in his footsteps.

Fledgling racing drivers will have the opportunity to compete for one of four prestigious scholarships for the 2009 Formula BMW Pacific season during Scholarship Trials from December 17 to 19.

As the proven stepping stone for young karters transitioning into the world of motor racing, a season as a Formula BMW Junior equips young talent with the skills needed to become successful in the highly-competitive world of top-flight motorsport, and could well set them on course for future stardom.

Anyone between the ages of 16 and 21 and of any nationality, with the exception of EU and USA residents, may sign up for the Scholarship Trials at Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Trials will consist of a number of assessments by professional BMW Motorsport instructors, who will then determine which of the candidates display the greatest potential.

On offer are four scholarships, including one earmarked for the winner of the 2008 Rookie Cup. Worth 50,000 Euro (approximately 70,000 USD) towards participation in the 2009 Formula BMW Pacific season, the scholarship also includes enrolment in the comprehensive Formula BMW Pacific Education and Coaching Programme, the only such training module available in Asia and the Pacific.

The cost of participating in the Scholarship Trial is 2,700 Euro (approximately 3,400 USD), and entry forms may be obtained from Formula BMW Pacific Series Manager Mark Turner at mark.turner@partner.formulabmw.com. The participation fee covers everything except travel and accommodation costs.

Although approaching the end of only its sixth season, Formula BMW Pacific has already set many young drivers from Asia and the Pacific on the road to motorsport success. Inaugural champion, Ho-Pin Tung of China, whose superb performance in 2003 was rewarded by BMW Motorsport with a Formula One test, the first ever for a Chinese driver, is currently just one rung from the highest echelon of the sport in GP2.

Champion in 2004, Marchy Lee Ying-Kin of Hong Kong now has a successful sportscar career, while 2006 title winner Earl Bamber of New Zealand has recently made an impressive GP2 Asia debut, finishing on the podium in just his second race. Bamber also represents his country in A1GP.

Meanwhile, 2006 Formula BMW Pacific Junior Daniel Ricciardo has just been crowned champion of the first ever Formula Renault 2.0 West European Cup.

Established in 2002, this year saw three Formula BMW series -- Formula BMW Europe, Formula BMW Pacific and Formula BMW Americas. As well as the Asia Pacific graduates, it has an impressive track record of success with current Formula 1 drivers Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg, Adrian Sutil and Timo Glock all having raced with Formula BMW. Test drivers Christian Klien, Sebastien Buemi and Nicolas Hulkenberg are all Formula BMW graduates.

In 2008, the Formula BMW Pacific scaled new heights, becoming the first cars ever to race on the Marina Bay street circuit in Singapore and, for the first time, holding its season finale at the Macau Grand Prix. The chance to make motorsport history in Singapore, coupled with the invaluable experience gained of the challenging Guia Circuit in Macau, are just two of the major advantages of racing with Formula BMW Pacific.

The season also included rounds at the Malaysian and Chinese rounds of the FIA Formula One World Championship, and intense weekends of competition in Malaysia and Indonesia as part of the Asian Festival of Speed, where five and four rounds respectively were run over each weekend.

Next year's calendar promises to be a similarly enticing combination of high-profile showcase events and intensive weekends with plenty of track time, all run on the region's best race tracks.

In order to provide all drivers with identical opportunities for success, equality is the bedrock of Formula BMW. All drivers are equipped with the tightly regulated FB02 car, and set-up changes and testing sessions are strictly controlled, thereby reducing cost variables and placing driver talent at the forefront of the programme.

Background:

Formula BMW is the world's leading entry-level series in formula racing. In 2008 the three Formula BMW series -- Formula BMW Europe, Formula BMW Pacific and Formula BMW Americas -- will be held in the key motor sport markets of Europe, pan-Asia and North and South America.

Next month will see the Formula BMW World Final staged for the fourth time, this time at Mexico City's "Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez" from the 5th to the 7th December. The winner will be granted the opportunity of a test drive with the BMW Sauber F1 Team.

Formula BMW was held on the undercard of Formula One on 12 occasions this year.

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 an 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.

In the words of BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen: "With our worldwide Formula BMW concept, we offer drivers and teams a platform which, in this format, is unprecedented in a junior series and which allows them to benefit from our Formula One involvement. Through Formula BMW the drivers are equipped with the tools they need to assert themselves successfully in the world of professional motor racing."

-credit: fbmw pac

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Nico Rosberg , Timo Glock , Ho-Pin Tung , Sebastian Vettel , Adrian Sutil , Sébastien Buemi , Mario Theissen , Daniel Ricciardo , Ross Jamison , Marchy Lee , Earl Bamber
Teams Sauber