Sechelariu takes first-ever win on Singapore street circuit. Marina Bay, Singapore -- It was a momentous occasion for Doru Sechelariu (ROM/Meritus) as the fifteen-year-old became the first-ever race winner on the Marina Bay Street...
Sechelariu takes first-ever win on Singapore street circuit.
Marina Bay, Singapore -- It was a momentous occasion for Doru Sechelariu (ROM/Meritus) as the fifteen-year-old became the first-ever race winner on the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
It was Sechelariu's first-ever Formula BMW victory and the Romanian -- who now considers Singapore as his favourite circuit -- won in convincing style, leading the entire way from Ollie Millroy (18/GBR/Motaworld) and Ross Jamison (18/HKG/Meritus). Australian Chris Wootton (19/AUS/Meritus) was the top Formula BMW Junior in fourth.
With Sechelariu and Millroy both guest drivers, and therefore not eligible to score points, series-leader Jamison took the full 20 points, plus the additional point for being on pole. Jamison had a 22-point lead coming to Singapore, and his result extends that advantage to 43 points over Sean McDonagh (19/USA/E-Rain).
BMW Junior Simon Moss (17/RSA/Mahara) failed to finish after picking up a puncture early on, meaning Wootton closes the gap between the pair in the Rookie Cup to just 10 points.
Jamison would have dearly loved to have taken his place in the history books, however he has his sights firmly set on the championship: "No racing driver likes getting beaten, but the strategy from the team was 'try your best, but don't do anything stupid,'" said Jamison, who started second on the grid before being passed by Millroy with seven laps to go.
Sechelariu, whose season's best had been fourth in Formula BMW Europe, was thrilled with his win.
"It's great," he said. "Before this weekend, I came here and thought I could be third or second, but not really win the race. On the first lap I had some nerves, but after I saw the gap, I started to become calm and didn't push over 100 per cent."
Off the start, Sechelariu got away well, followed by Jamison and Millroy. The drama began early on when Gabby Chaves (15/COL/Atlantic Racing Team) spun at Turn 1, allowing Wootton to move up to fourth. Chaves ended the race in eighth.
McDonagh, meanwhile, clipped the curb, spun and was out of the race in the first lap, a huge disappointment for the championship contender.
Moss puncture and resulting off brought out the Safety Car on the opening lap. At the restart, Millroy made his move on Jamison, getting by and holding on to second until the flag.
In the closing laps of the race, the Team Holzer PFX pair of Melvin Moh (20) and Dominic Ang (18) were dicing for position, and the Malaysians ended taking each other out.
Chaves meanwhile, who was working his way back up through the field, had a look at getting by BMW Junior Marlon Stockinger (17/PHI/Eurasia Motorsport). Stockinger, who has been suffering from dehydration following a stomach problem, defended his line but spun off into the unforgiving barriers.
Ryuichi Nara (20/JPN/E-Rain) finished fifth, seven-tenths of a second behind Wootton, and guest driver Rio Haryanto (15/IDN/Pacific Racing) finished sixth on his Formula BMW Pacific debut.
Rookie Aditya Patel (20/IND/Eurasia Motorsport) put in a stellar performance to work his way up from the back of the grid and finish seventh.
Having closed the gap in the Rookie Cup standings, Wootton is looking forward to the next race tomorrow (Sunday), where he believes he can gain further ground: "I love my chances because he's a bit further back and I start in fourth position," Wotton said. "So long as I make it around the first corner and get a good start, I think I can have a strong race."
For Millroy, who after joining Formula BMW Pacific for the final five rounds of the season, Saturday's race was his first podium this season.
"We wanted to end the year on a high," said Millroy, who completed a season in Formula BMW Europe. "I came here with a fresh head."
Sechelariu is on pole for Round 13 of Formula BMW Pacific, with Millroy starting alongside.
-credit: fbmw pac