USA: 2006 Junior Scholarship winners announced

FORMULA BMW USA AWARDS FIVE JUNIOR SCHOLARSHIPS FOR 2006 SEASON Woodcliff Lake, NJ - September 28, 2005-- BMW of North America, LLC announced today the names of the five young drivers that will be awarded a 2006 Formula BMW USA Junior...


Woodcliff Lake, NJ - September 28, 2005-- BMW of North America, LLC announced today the names of the five young drivers that will be awarded a 2006 Formula BMW USA Junior scholarship. Each will receive a $40,000 scholarship towards participation in the 2006 Formula BMW USA Championship and automatic enrollment in Formula BMW USA Education and Coaching Program.

The 2006 Formula BMW USA Junior drivers that will race in the distinctive BMW Motorsport livery are Brandon Bealer (16), of Coalville, Ill.; Jordan Dick (17), of Northville, Mich.; David Garza (17), of Monterrey, Mexico ; Maxime Pelletier (15), of Longueuil, Quebec, Canada; and Robert Thorne (15), of Langhorne, Pa.

The five winners were selected in a competition between 18 young drivers invited from two previous Formula BMW USA licensing schools held in July. On August 31 to September 1, the two-day "shoot-out", was held at the Formula BMW Racing Center at the Circuit de la Communitat in Valencia, Spain. During practice sessions, instructors provided feedback while keeping an expert eye out for those who had the potential to wear the BMW Junior colors. The program culminated with two sessions of evaluations where all drivers were scored by five instructors, that included BMW Touring Car driver Joerg Mueller and Formula BMW USA driving coach Peter Argetsinger.

The five young men selected for a 2006 Formula BMW USA scholarship will join a select group of very talented Formula BMW USA Junior alumni. Since Formula BMW began in North America in 2004, 12 young men have competed, or are currently competing, as Juniors.

Current 2005 Formula BMW Juniors are Adrien Herberts; Kevin Lacroix; Robert Wickens; Justin Moon; Reed Stevens and Richard Philippe. Philippe leads both the Overall and Rookie standings heading into the final two rounds of the 2005 Championship, continuing the strong performance and high standard the first group of Formula BMW USA Juniors established in 2004.

In the first season of Formula BMW USA, Junior James Hinchcliffe won the inaugural Formula BMW USA Rookie title. Along with fellow Rookie Graham Rahal, he has gone on to race in the Star Mazda Series this year. They currently stand third and fourth in driver points respectively. Tom Milner is racing a BMW Team PTG M3 in the Rolex Sports Car Series. With two wins and four podium finishes to-date this year he stands sixth in Driver Points. Jonathan Summerton continues to race in the Formula BMW ADAC Championship in Germany, standing 10th in driver points.

The BMW Junior program continues to be one of the hallmarks of BMW's commitment to motorsports by providing young drivers with the best start possible. Beginning in 1977, the BMW Junior program has been instrumental in providing an excellent foundation for many young drivers, among them Marc Surer, Eddie Cheever, Manfred Winkelhock and Sebastian Vettel.

Formula BMW is the world's leading entry-level class in Formula racing. In 2005 the series will be held in Germany, Britain, Asia and the USA. Up-and-coming drivers as young as 15-years-old are given the opportunity of entering motor racing with the high-tech, standard FB02 race car.

This racing car has been seen on the grid since 2002 and has set standards particularly on the safety technology front. The single-seater is propelled by a 140 bhp BMW engine up to 140 mph and by far exceeds the safety requirements for its class. BMW Motorsport has developed the FORS Formula Rescue Race Seat especially for Formula BMW. The HANS® safety system is also mandatory.

In 2005, Formula BMW will be staged five times as part of the Formula One support program. All the series offer a multifaceted Education and Coaching Program as well as sponsorship for promising racing talents. The best-known alumni of this talent hothouse are Formula One drivers Ralf Schumacher and Christian Klien.

BMW Motorsport Director Dr. Mario Theissen: "Formula BMW offers talented young drivers more than just a car. In the Education and Coaching Program we have designed specially for them, they learn everything they need to know to hold their own in the big wide world of motor racing. Formula BMW has shot out of the blocks to become the top entry-level class for Formula racing worldwide."

In December 2005 the Bahrain International Circuit will host the first Formula BMW World Final. Young racing drivers from the four regional Formula BMW series will compete against each other. The winner will get a Formula One test drive.


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Series Formula BMW
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Eddie Cheever , Graham Rahal , Robert Thorne , Marc Surer , Christian Klien , Peter Argetsinger , Manfred Winkelhock , Sebastian Vettel , Reed Stevens , Justin Moon , Kevin Lacroix , Adrien Herberts , Richard Philippe , James Hinchcliffe , Maxime Pelletier , David Garza , Jordan Dick , Mario Theissen , Jonathan Summerton , Joerg Mueller