Series newsletter 2009-07-30

Formula BMW mourns Henry Surtees. Henry Surtees died on 19th July 2009 after suffering heavy head injuries in an accident during a Formula 2 race at the Brands Hatch circuit. He was hit at a full speed by a stray wheel which had been torn off ...

Formula BMW mourns Henry Surtees.

Henry Surtees died on 19th July 2009 after suffering heavy head injuries in an accident during a Formula 2 race at the Brands Hatch circuit. He was hit at a full speed by a stray wheel which had been torn off another car. Henry contested the 2007 Formula BMW UK Championship, and made guest starts in the Formula BMW Germany series. He scored a victory at Donington, and ended the season sixth overall.

The Formula BMW community's thoughts are with Henry's family after this tragedy.

Christensen scores double victory at Hungaroring.

Denmark's Michael Christensen (Muecke Motorsport) delivered a perfect weekend at the Hungaroring (HU). The 18-year-old took a full house of pole positions, fastest laps and victories in the season's ninth and tenth rounds. Although he left Hungary with a score of 62 points, Christensen's cushion over his main opponent in the drivers' championship is far from comfortable: Felipe Nasr (BR/Eurointernational) placed second in each race, and thus lies just 11 points adrift of 2008's Rookie of the Year, who has amassed 245 points to date this season.

Christensen was, though, satisfied with his double hat-trick. "It went exactly to plan," admitted the Formula BMW Junior. "It has been just as I wanted -- two pole positions and two wins. I cannot be happier than I am. Towards the end of race one I just enjoyed driving and leading. The gap was quite big in the end, but I didn't look at the times or the mirrors. Felipe was also very strong in the beginning of the second race, but then I managed to pull away."

For both third-placed drivers, their visits to the podium were a first: Race one saw Jim Pla (FR/DAMS) take third. After the second race rookie Timmy Hansen (SE/Muecke Motorsport) stood beside Nasr and Christensen on the podium.

The results, though, remain provisional, as certain components fitted to the cars with numbers 15 (Michael Christensen, DK/Muecke Motorsport), 16 (Timmy Hansen. SE/Muecke Motorsport) and 17 (Jack Te Braak, NL/Muecke Motorsport) underwent technical inspection.

Chaves takes series lead, Kovacic gifts himself.

The participants in Formula BMW Americas once again attracted attention by delivering two thrilling races at Lime Rock Park (US). A new points' leader and a beaming maiden winner shared the spoils of victory between them: Gabby Chaves (CO/Eurointernational) managed to win a heart-stopping first race to take the lead in the drivers' classification from team-mate Giancarlo Vilarinho (BR), who placed seventh.

It was, though, no walk-over for Chaves, who to date has climbed the podium after every race in the 2009 Formula BMW Americas series. At the end of the race just 0.032 seconds separated him from the runner-up, Autotecnica's Gianmarco Raimondo (CA). Rookie James Kovacic (AU) took third for Team Apex.

In the second race things went two better for Kovacic, who was celebrating his 16th birthday. Starting from fifth on the grid, lap-by-lap he worked his way forward to assume the lead after a spin by Alex Ellis (CA/Autotecnica), then held on to it to the end. Chaves and Raimondo finished second and third respectively.

"I can't even explain how happy I am about getting my first win," grinned Kovacic. "I tried to keep out of trouble, find good spots to make my passes and drive hard." Chaves, too, was satisfied, stating: "This was a great weekend for me, as we moved another step closer to our goal of winning the Formula BMW Americas championship." Chaves now has 150 points, with Vilarinho (130) and Raimondo (98) in second and third places. Kovacic's success catapulted him to 84 points and fourth place overall.

New date confirmed for Sentul round.

Image After the postponement of the Formula BMW Pacific rounds in Sentul (ID), the revised dates for rounds seven to ten have been confirmed. On 16th August the Sentul International Circuit will see the Irish points leader Gary Thompson (E-Rain Racing/83 points) fight off the advances of his closest challengers, namely Formula BMW Junior Axcil Jefferies (ZW/Eurasia Motorsport), on 72 points, and Rio Haryanto (ID/Questnet Team Qi-Meritus/64).

Superbike star Corser tries FB02 for size.

Image For motorcycle racer Troy Corser (US), presently contesting the Superbike World Championship for BMW, the dreams of every young racer were realised -- all within a few hours. During the BMW Sauber F1 Team's Fan and Partner Day on 20th July 2009, the 37-year-old rider took the wheel of a Formula BMW FB02, the car used in all three Formula BMW series, and lapped the Nuerburgring (DE). While Nick Heidfeld tried the BMW S 1000 RR Superbike, Corser thoroughly enjoyed his exploits in the FB02. Thereafter the Superbike star slid into the cockpit of a BMW Sauber F1 Team Formula One race car -- as had many young Formula BMW drivers before him.

Formula BMW Alumni Round-up.

The past few weeks have seen numerous Formula BMW graduates claiming championship victories and podium places. Herewith a summary:

- Nicolas Huelkenberg (DE) is not to be stopped in the GP2 Series. At the Hungaroring, the winner of the 2005 Formula BMW ADAC Championship took his third series victory to increase his lead in the overall classification.

- Before his tragic accident at Brands Hatch, Henry Surtees placed third in the seventh race of the Formula 2 Championship to score his maiden podium in the category. Victory went to Philipp Eng (AT), winner of the 2007 Formula BMW World Final. The eighth race saw Robert Wickens (CA), 2006 Formula BMW USA champion, place second.

- The ninth race of International Formula Masters resulted in all podium places going to Formula BMW graduates. Josef Kral (CZ) won from Fabio Leimer (CH) and Alexander Rossi (US). Erik Janis (CZ) finished third in the second race, thus ensuring that Formula BMW's alumni were once again represented on the podium.

- Christian Vietoris (DE) scored third place in the ninth round of the Formula 3 Euro Series; Sam Bird (GB) finished second in the tenth race, held at the Circuit Park Zandvoort (NL).

- Australia's Daniel Ricciardo consolidated his British F3 Championship lead with victory and second place at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps (BE).

- At Suzuka (JP) Marcus Ericsson (SE) celebrated his third Japanese Formula 3 Championship win of the season.

- At the Hungaroring (HU) Rene Rast (DE) took his third consecutive Porsche Supercup victory.

-credit: fbmw

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Nick Heidfeld , Troy Corser , Robert Wickens , Sam Bird , Christian Vietoris , Erik Janis , Nico Hulkenberg , Josef Kral , Daniel Ricciardo , Alexander Rossi , René Rast , Henry Surtees , Marcus Ericsson , Philipp Eng , Michael Christensen , Giancarlo Vilarinho , Gianmarco Raimondo , Timmy Hansen , Jack Te Braak , Axcil Jefferies , Rio Haryanto , Gary Thompson , James Kovacic , Felipe Nasr , Gabby Chaves
Teams Sauber , DAMS