PAC: Series Singapore race one report

Nasr conquers Singapore with first Asian win. Marina Bay, Singapore -- Felipe Nasr (BRA/17/Eurointernational) took a faultless lights-to-flag victory in Round 11 of Formula BMW Pacific, as the newly crowned Formula BMW Europe champion won his...

Nasr conquers Singapore with first Asian win.

Marina Bay, Singapore -- Felipe Nasr (BRA/17/Eurointernational) took a faultless lights-to-flag victory in Round 11 of Formula BMW Pacific, as the newly crowned Formula BMW Europe champion won his first race in Asia in support of the 2009 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix on the 5.067km Marina Bay street circuit.

Second was Drivers Classification points leader Rio Haryanto (INA/16/Questnet Team Qi-Meritus), while Australian James Kovacic (16/Eurointernational) took the final podium spot. Joining Nasr and Kovacic as guest drivers was Jack Harvey (GBR/16/Eurasia Motorsport), who finished fourth in the 10-lap race. Gary Thompson (IRL/17/E-Rain Racing) rounded out the top five, strengthening his lead at the top of the Rookie Cup standings.

With guest drivers not eligible to score points, Haryanto has now taken full points in each of the last six races, and continues to lead Thompson by 18 points in the 2009 Formula BMW Pacific title chase. The young Indonesian continues to impress, and his race result in the face of such stiff competition is further evidence of his impressive talent.

Third in the overall Drivers Classification and second in the Rookie Cup is Formula BMW Junior Axcil Jefferies (ZIM/15/Eurasia Motorsport), who was running sixth in Round 11, before a dramatic incident on the final lap put him out of the race.

The action-packed round got off to a hectic start, with the Safety Car brought out on the opening lap after a dramatic incident which ended Akhil Khushlani's (IND/19/E-Rain Racing) race. While Nasr and Haryanto were ahead of the incident, Thompson, Jefferies and Dominic Ang (MAS/20/Team Holzer PFX) were caught up together, allowing Kovacic, who started from sixth, to go fourth.

Following the restart, Nasr led the field followed by Haryanto. While Haryanto would come within half a second of Nasr, the Brazilian was just too strong pulling away and opening a gap of 4.22 seconds by the flag and setting the fastest lap of the race.

Formula BMW Junior Chris Wootton (AUS/20/Eurasia Motorsport) finished sixth after starting from 11th on the grid. His compatriot and fellow Junior Steel Guiliana (17/Atlantic Racing Team) started 15th and got as high as tenth before finishing 13th.

A tight battle between Harvey, Thompson and Jefferies ensued in the latter half of the race. Harvey managed to get away and move safely into fourth, while Jefferies and Thompson, who are battling for points in both the Drivers Classification and Rookie Cup, embarked on a fast-paced duel.

On the final lap, Thompson was able to pull out a modest gap, however, Jefferies' efforts came to nought after Cao Hong Wei (CHN/16/Ao's Racing Team) clipped him, flipping his car over on the final turn.

Sunday's Round 12 will see Nasr on pole again, with teammate Michael Lewis (USA/18), who finished 11th in Round 11, joining him on the first row. Fahmi Ilyas (MAS/17/Team E-Rain) will start from third position in Round 12. Ilyas finished ninth in Saturday's race.

Round 11 Drivers' Quotes:

1st Felipe Nasr: "It's been a fantastic weekend so far. It's my first time in Asia, my first time to race in Asia, and now my first time to win in Asia. I was called at the last minute to be here and, although it's a difficult track, it's been a great race. I had quite a good start and managed a good entry into the first corner. Though Rio did get closer to me at one point, I managed to do some great laps and then get the win. Tomorrow I start from pole position again and I need to do a good start again, and a good first lap and then we will see."

2nd Rio Haryanto: "I had a good start and then afterwards I tried not to take too many risks. I knew I had to push hard, but Felipe was able to pull away. He's a very good driver. But I am happy because two weeks ago in Monza I couldn't even see Felipe and now I can fight him for a win."

3rd James Kovacic: "I had some difficulties in qualifying and then there was a really hectic start, but I got a good jump off the line. Then I just stayed on the inside and waited for everyone to go wide, which they did, and I was able to pick up a position there. We had good pace for the race and it was a hard, hot but a fantastic race."

Top Rookie Gary Thompson: "I finished reasonably well because I earn the second-place points, but I'm annoyed I made a mistake on the second lap which meant that my pace slowed down. On the first corner I went three wide with Axcil and Dominic, and I got put down to sixth. Later in the race, there was quite a hard battle with Axcil."

-credit: fbmw pac

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Series Formula BMW
Drivers Akhil Khushlani , Dominic Ang , Chris Wootton , Jack Harvey , Axcil Jefferies , Fahmi Ilyas , Rio Haryanto , Gary Thompson , Steel Guiliana , James Kovacic , Felipe Nasr , Martin Cao