Skilful Haryanto takes victory in shortened race. Sepang, Malaysia -- Indonesia's Rio Haryanto (16/Questnet Team Qi-Meritus) proved skilful in a dramatic, shortened 5-lap race today, taking victory in Round 2 of Formula BMW Pacific at the 2009...
Skilful Haryanto takes victory in shortened race.
Sepang, Malaysia -- Indonesia's Rio Haryanto (16/Questnet Team Qi-Meritus) proved skilful in a dramatic, shortened 5-lap race today, taking victory in Round 2 of Formula BMW Pacific at the 2009 Formula 1 Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix.
Crossing the line two-abreast behind him were Australian Chris Wootton (20/Eurasia Motorsport) and pole-sitter and winner of Round 1 Rookie Gary Thompson (16/E-Rain Racing) of Ireland. However it was Wootton who claimed second place with a slim margin of just 0.096 of a second.
Haryanto, who had started from the third row of the grid and had built up a healthy margin of more than four seconds by the flag in tricky track conditions, remains third in the standings, six points behind Driver Classification leader Thompson, and just half a point adrift of Wootton.
Thompson took his second Rookie Cup victory of the weekend, with Calvin Wong (17/Team Holzer PFX) of Malaysia second, and Fahad Algosaibi (15/E-Rain Racing), currently the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's only single seater racer, taking a well-earned 3rd place. Wong now jumps to 2nd in the Rookie Cup standings, one point ahead of Formula BMW Junior Axcil Jefferies of Zimbabwe (Eurasia Motorsport).
Haryanto, who has a sterling karting career under his belt and this year is contesting his first full season of Formula BMW Pacific, was rightly thrilled with this victory: "My start was quite good, and I tried to push really hard in the beginning. The car was very good, and the handling was great."
Thompson was understandably disappointed there weren't more laps in which to challenge Wootton: "I made another terrible start - again! That's a habit I have to stop quite soon. I was 4th by the end of lap one, but managed to get back up to 3rd. I'd managed to catch Chris and then I saw the (chequered) flag. I had no chance of catching Rio, he was quick from the start, but the race was a bit shorter than it should have been."
Prior to the start, the heavens had opened dumping inches of rain onto the track. The race was declared as wet, however with a rapidly-drying track, the teams quickly changed to slicks on the grid.
The drama began to unfold immediately, with Thompson getting away badly for the second time this weekend, and losing the advantage to Wootton off the grid. By contrast, Jefferies made a brilliant getaway, charging to 2nd behind Wootton and then grabbing the lead when the Australian encountered water on the track at the final turn.
However, the youngster's lead was brief, with Haryanto charging past after a tense but fair battle, and his race ending after a coming together with a hard-charging Wong. Wong, who started from 5th on the grid, also had a coming together with fellow countryman Fahmi Ilyas (17/E-Rain Racing) on his way through the field. That incident also ended Ilyas' race, disappointing after his impressive debut this weekend which saw him qualify 3rd for both races.
Behind them, China's Cao Hong Wei (16) was making his mark with his Macau-based Chinese team Ao's Racing, eventually finishing 5th ahead of India's Aditya Patel (20/Atlantic Racing Team), and Malaysia's Dominic Ang (19/Team Holzer PFX).
Formula BMW Junior Steel Guiliana (17/AUS/Motaworld Racing), proved he is a fast learner, earning a point in just his second race having had almost no testing prior to the weekend.
While the young drivers impressed during the weekend, BMW Motorsport Director, Mario Theissen is confident it won't be too long before a Formula BMW Pacific graduate joins the ranks of Formula One: "There are some very promising drivers coming up through the ranks. Formula BMW Europe started earlier than the Pacific series, and there are already five drivers in Formula One who came from Formula BMW".
Formula BMW Pacific returns to Malaysia's Sepang International Circuit next month for the Asian Festival of Speed weekend, where the drivers will have plenty of track time with four races.
-credit: fbmw pac