PAC: Series Sepang preview

Strong international entry for 2010 season. Kuala Lumpur - One of the largest and most international Formula BMW Pacific fields ever assembled will blast off the grid for the start of the 2010 season in support of the Formula 1 Petronas...

Strong international entry for 2010 season.

Kuala Lumpur - One of the largest and most international Formula BMW Pacific fields ever assembled will blast off the grid for the start of the 2010 season in support of the Formula 1 Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend.

The 21 drivers represent11 countries across Asia, Australia, Europe and North and South America as the stellar reputation of Formula BMW Pacific extends far beyond the geographic locations of its races.

The fledging talent will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Daniel Ricciardo and Ho-Pin Tung, both of whom have this year become the first Formula BMW Pacific alumni to graduate to Formula 1. Former Formula BMW Junior Ricciardo is a Red Bull Racing test and reserve driver, while Tung, the first-ever Formula BMW Asia champion in 2003, is Renault F1 Team's third driver.

In 2010, no fewer than three Formula BMW Pacific racing outfits will align with Formula 1 teams or companies involved with the World Championship, further cementing the series as the essential first step towards establishing an international motorsport career.

Four Malaysian drivers form the PETRONAS Mofaz Racing team, comprising Calvin Wong (18), who finished fifth in last year's Rookie Cup and eighth in the Drivers Classification, and rookies Ryan Ritchie (17), Amirrul Khirudin (17) and Natasha Seatter (17), the only female driver this season.

Malaysia's Nabil Jeffri (16) will be supported by the Lotus F1 team as part of the four-strong Eurasia Motorsport team, while Eurointernational will field two Red Bull Junior drivers, Daniil Kvyat (RUS/15) and Carlos Sainz Jr. (ESP/15), Formula BMW Junior and son of the former FIA World Rally Champion and Paris-Dakar Rally winner. Both Kvyat, the series' first Russian driver, and Sainz are guest drivers for the opening rounds in Malaysia.

The field includes 13 young drivers who will begin their international motorsport careers in the FB02 in support of the Malaysian Grand Prix and who, in addition to racing for overall honours, will also vie for the 2010 Rookie Cup title.

Among them are the 2010 Formula BMW Pacific Juniors: Australians Jesse Dixon (17/Atlantic Racing Team) and Jordan Oon (19/E-Rain Racing), and Kotaro Sakurai (PHI/15/Eurasia Motorsport). The trio

were awarded coveted scholarships, each of which includes a Euro 50,000 contribution towards the 2010 season plus complimentary entry into the Education and Coaching Programme.

In addition to Wong, just three other drivers return for the 2010 season after making their Formula BMW Pacific debuts last year. Malaysian Fahmi Ilyas (18/Mango Asia), who finished fourth in the Drivers Classification and third in the Rookie Cup in 2009, this year also competes in the sister series Formula BMW Europe. Suriya Balakerisnan (SIN/17/Asia Racing Team) joins the series full time after contesting three rounds in 2009 as a guest driver.

Having finished fourth and fifth in the 2009 Rookie Cup and Drivers Classification, respectively, Dustin Sofyan (INA/15/Meritus) will be eyeing the title this time around, keen to follow in the footsteps of his compatriot and former teammate Rio Haryanto, who became the first Indonesian to win the Formula BMW Pacific Drivers Classification in 2009.

Sofyan's teammates, Afiq Yazid (MAS/17), Pasin Lathouras (THA/16) and Oscar Tunjo (COL) will all contest the Rookie Cup.

Also competing in the category is the Eurasia Motorsport quartet of Sakurai, Jeffri, Richard Bradley (SIN/18) and Duvashen Padayachee (AUS/19).

Korea's S.H. Tom Mun (19/E-Rain Racing) and Malaysian Chang Mun Shien (16/Mango Asia) will both be making their Formula BMW Pacific debuts.

Eurointernational, which competed in the final three race weekends of the 2009 season, will enter three guest drivers for Rounds 1&2, including Kvyat, Sainz and 2009 Formula BMW Americas Rookie Cup winner Michael Lewis (USA/19). Lewis competed in four races in the 2009 Formula BMW Pacific season, notching up one victory.

The 2010 Formula BMW Pacific season will begin in support of the Petronas Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit, followed by a further four races at the same track as part of the Asian Festival of Speed (AFOS) in May. The series will then take a summer break before a second AFOS event at the new Korean International Circuit scheduled for August. In September, two rounds will be held on the Marina Bay street circuit in support of the 2010 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix. A third Formula 1 support event, this time at the 2010 Formula 1 Korean Grand Prix is scheduled for October, with the season finale part of the 57th Macau Grand Prix.

-source: fbmw pac

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Ho-Pin Tung , Calvin Wong , Rio Haryanto , Dustin Sofyan , S.H. Tom Mun , Jordan Oon , Suriya Balakerisnan , Ryan Ritchie , Pasin Lathouras , Amirrul Khirudin , Oscar Tunjo , Nabil Jeffri , Chang Mun Shien , Duvashen Padayachee , Daniil Kvyat , Natasha Seatter , Kotaro Sakurai , Richard Bradley
Teams Red Bull Racing , Lotus F1 Team