Buller wins season final in Macau. The journey to Macau (CN) for the season finale of the Formula BMW Pacific series was worth the effort for William Buller (GB): sharing the bill with the 56th Macau Grand Prix, the 17-year-old celebrated ...
Buller wins season final in Macau.
The journey to Macau (CN) for the season finale of the Formula BMW Pacific series was worth the effort for William Buller (GB): sharing the bill with the 56th Macau Grand Prix, the 17-year-old celebrated his maiden victory in Formula BMW at the legendary "Guia Circuit". Buller, who raced for the Eurointernational team in the former Portuguese colony, finished ahead of his team-mate, Jim Pla (FR), and Rio Haryanto (ID) from Questnet Team Qi-Meritus, who finished second and third respectively. Going into the 15th race of the season, Haryanto had already secured the Formula BMW Pacific title, while Gary Thompson (IR, E-Rain Racing) could relax knowing that nobody would deny him the Rookie title.
Buller had laid the foundations for his triumph by claiming pole position on Saturday. He said: "After the start I kind of knew the safety-car would come out, so I just made sure I got a good restart. My best corners were the last two and every lap I would get a good gap between Jim Pla and myself going down the straight." A spectacular crash in the Mandarin corner resulted in several drivers retiring at the very beginning of the race, some with minor injuries.
Two strong teams: Eurointernational and Questnet Team Qi-Meritus.
Two of the strongest teams in the history of Formula BMW went head to head in Macau: Eurointernational and Questnet Team Qi-Meritus. William Buller's victory crowned an almost perfect season for Eurointernational. Team Principal Antonio Ferrari's squad celebrated an impressive 25 victories in 35 races in 2009. Felipe Nasr (BR) claimed the title in Formula BMW Europe, while overall victory in Formula BMW Americas went to Gabby Chaves (CO), another Eurointernational driver.
Questnet Team Qi-Meritus, meanwhile, once again left its mark on the Formula BMW Pacific series. The Team Trophy went to boss Firhat Mokhzani's (MY) crew for the seventh time in a row. The team also has six drivers' titles and five overall rookie victories to its name. Next season Formula BMW Pacific fans can look forward to more thrilling duels between the two racing teams: Eurointernational will officially join the championship and attempt to make life difficult for Questnet Team Qi-Meritus as they aim for their eighth consecutive team victory.
Bird and Ericsson shine in Macau.
The Formula BMW presence in Macau did not end with the Formula BMW Pacific race. Nine former graduates of the BMW junior programme lined up on the grid for the classic Formula 3 race at the street circuit. Sam Bird (GB) and Marcus Ericsson (SE) made a particularly good impression. Having finished eighth in qualifying and seventh in the qualification race, Bird worked his way up to third in the main event. "Last year I was really unlucky in Macau," said the man who finished runner-up in the 2005 Formula BMW UK championship. "I was determined to do better this time. To finish on the podium is fantastic."
Ericsson, who won the 2007 Formula BMW UK Championship and this year's Japanese Formula 3 series, claimed fourth. The Swede had set the fastest time in qualifying and finished runner-up in the qualification race. Former Formula BMW Junior Daniel Ricciardo (AU) also scored a good result, finishing sixth in Saturday's race in Macau. However, he failed to complete the main race.
Seven former Formula BMW drivers breathe F1 air.
The Formula One teams had their final testing opportunity of the season in Jerez de la Frontera (ES) - and seven former Formula BMW drivers were involved in the so-called "Young Driver Days" in early December. Alexander Rossi (US) and Esteban Gutierrez (MX) gained their first valuable Formula One experience at the final appearance of the BMW Sauber F1 Team. Rossi completed 82 laps of the 4.428-kilometre circuit on Monday. "I very much enjoyed this test," he said. "It is impressive what the car does, how predictable and precise its reactions are, and how high the overall grip level is."
Gutierrez, who won last year's Formula BMW Europe, took over from the 2008 Formula BMW Americas champion on Tuesday. He was equally thrilled after completing 68 laps. "The main idea was to live that experience, to enjoy the day and to learn," he said. "I really thank the team for this much appreciated opportunity. In the end my neck was a bit stiff, and it was good to evaluate my own physical condition. The extra training I did paid off."
Alongside Rossi and Gutierrez, WilliamsF1 driver Nicolas Huelkenberg (DE), Marcus Ericsson, Daniel Ricciardo, Oliver Turvey (GB) and Ho-Pin Tung (CN) were also in action, having all taken their first steps in single-seater racing in the Formula BMW series.
Christensen is Denmark's racing driver of the year.
Michael Christensen (DK) has been given a special honour in his homeland: at the end of November the Danish Automobile Sports Union (DASU) named him its "Racing Driver of the Year". Tom Belso (DK), the first Danish Formula One driver, presented the 19-year-old with his trophy at a reception in Copenhagen. Christensen celebrated four victories in the 2009 Formula BMW Europe season, finishing fourth overall. Last year the youngster won the Rookie Cup.
Formula BMW Racing Experience as a Christmas gift.
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