Series newsletter 2008-09-24

Mexico City to host 2008 Formula BMW World Final. This year the Formula BMW season will end on the American continent: the "Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez", situated in the heart of Mexico City (MX), will host the 2008 Formula BMW World Final from...

Mexico City to host 2008 Formula BMW World Final.

This year the Formula BMW season will end on the American continent: the "Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez", situated in the heart of Mexico City (MX), will host the 2008 Formula BMW World Final from 5th to 7th December. The winner of this prestigious event can look forward to the unique opportunity of driving a BMW Sauber F1 Team Formula One racing car.

"We are looking forward to the opportunity of taking the Formula BMW World Final to America," says BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen. "After previous World Finals in Bahrain and Valencia, the young drivers will be able to prove their skills on this classic circuit located in the centre of Mexico's capital city. I am convinced that this populous metropolis will provide the perfect setting for the highlight of our Formula BMW season. After events in Asia and Europe, the time has come to stage the World Final on American soil. This year numerous noteworthy talents representing various American regions are contesting the Formula BMW Americas series -- which is one of three successful championships in the Formula BMW programme -- and therefore it is totally fitting that we meet, literally, in the centre."

The Formula BMW World Final has established itself as the traditional finale of the BMW Motorsport year. The BMW Sauber F1 Team will contest Formula One's final race on 2nd November in Brazil, with the World Touring Car Championship and Formula BMW Pacific staging their final events in Macau (MO) a fortnight later. With the running of the World Final in December -- after the majority of championship titles have been decided -- Formula BMW contestants have a further opportunity of ending their respective seasons on a high.

Gutierrez celebrates Formula BMW Europe title victory.

Formula BMW Europe salutes its new champion: Esteban Gutierrez entered the history books of the young driver series by claiming the first Formula BMW Europe title after the Saturday race in Monza. His fourth place to winner Tiago Geronimi (BR) was sufficient to secure the title at the high speed Italian circuit. "Winning the Formula BMW Europe title is something very special for me. From race to race I was able to learn new things every time. It's a long way right to the top of Formula One, but when you look at former Formula BMW drivers like Vettel and Rosberg, for example, you see that an advance of that kind is certainly possible," said the ecstatic Mexican.

Gutierrez had the opportunity of meeting his role models at the Saturday evening Formula BMW get-together. Beside BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen, who personally congratulated the freshly-minted title-holder, he met BMW Sauber F1 Team drivers Robert Kubica (PL) and Christian Klien (AT). In addition, former Formula BMW winners such as Sebastian Vettel (DE), who went on to win the next day's Italian Grand Prix, and Nico Rosberg met with the young talents.

On Sunday the 16th and last round of the season decided the remaining 2008 Formula BMW Europe series standings. Despite another victory by Geronimi, it was Michael Christensen (DK) who secured the "Rookie of the Year"title. The team award went to "Josef Kaufmann Racing". Marco Wittmann (DE, 327 points) and Adrien Tambay (FR, 260) placed second and third respectively behind Gutierrez (353) in the overall drivers' classification.

Season highlight in Singapore.

Formula BMW Pacific celebrates a double first in Singapore this weekend. Not only will BMW's young driver series be racing on the new street circuit cutting through the Asian metropolis on 27th and 28th September, but the participants will compete on the support card of the first night race in Formula One history. Two Formula BMW Pacific rounds will be contested during the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix.

Going into rounds 12 and 13 of the series, Ross Jamison (150 points) of Hong Kong leads the drivers' classification, with Sean McDonagh (US), on 128 points, being his closest challenger. After the race in Singapore, another set of Formula One support events awaits the contestants on 18th and 19th October, with the first Formula BMW Pacific series coming to a close in Macau on 16th November.

Final spurt in Formula BMW Americas.

After a summer break, Formula BMW Americas is preparing for the final spurt which takes the series through to season's end. Four races remain during which the champion of BMW's Americas-based young driver series will be decided.

With a score of 165 points, Alexander Rossi (US) is in the strongest position of taking overall honours, while Ricardo Favoretto (BR), 32 points in arrears, is his nearest challenger. Gianmarco Raimondo (CA) currently holds third place in the standings. His 98 points mean he still has a theoretical chance of lifting the title.

The series' next showdown, comprising three heats, will be contested on 27th and 28th September at the Thunderbolt Raceway in New Jersey, USA. The season finale, forming part of the support package for the final Formula One race of the season, the Brazilian Grand Prix, takes place at Interlagos on 1st and 2nd November.

Formula BMW careers: Sebastian Vettel.

Sebastian Vettel has rewritten history. The 2004 Formula BMW Germany winner is the first Formula BMW driver to have won a Formula One Grand Prix. At the Italian Grand Prix Vettel, who last year made his Formula One debut as test and reserve driver for the BMW Sauber F1 Team, impressed seasoned observers and spectators alike with his obvious ability. Driving in rainy weather amid difficult circuit conditions at the "Autodromo Nazionale di Monza", the Heppenheim- born driver secured not only his first pole position on Saturday, but sensationally brought his Toro Rosso home in first place the next day.

"A fantastic race, a fantastic weekend with pole position and a fantastic strategy this afternoon," Vettel beamed after his victory. "The podium ceremony was unbelievable, and this is the best day of my life. I will never forget the feeling. It is unbelievable, it is better than I ever expected!"

Vettel had already attracted attention while competing in Formula BMW. During his first season in the then Formula BMW Germany series he took home the "Rookie of the Year" award. In 2004 he made his mark like no other driver before him, scoring a scarcely believable 18 victories from 20 starts. In fact, his name still stands alongside most major Formula BMW records: a total of 23 victories, 32 podium places and 20 pole positions - plus, now, a Formula One Grand Prix victory.

"Formula BMW is the ideal springboard to a successful career as race driver,' says Vettel. "You learn, you progress in such a way that you are able to compete at the next level. In Formula BMW you receive all the required tools."

-credit: fbmw

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Nico Rosberg , Christian Klien , Robert Kubica , Sebastian Vettel , Ross Jamison , Alexander Rossi , Ricardo Favoretto , Esteban Gutierrez , Adrien Tambay , Sean McDonagh , Tiago Geronimi , Michael Christensen , Gianmarco Raimondo
Teams Sauber , Toro Rosso