FORMULA BMW USA SIGNS SIX TO 2005 JUNIOR SCHOLARSHIPS; 18 TALENTED DRIVERS NOW REGISTERD FOR CHAMPIONSHIP Woodcliff Lake, NJ - March 21, 2005-- BMW of North America, LLC announced today the six 2005 Formula BMW USA Juniors who will...
FORMULA BMW USA SIGNS SIX TO 2005 JUNIOR SCHOLARSHIPS; 18 TALENTED DRIVERS NOW REGISTERD FOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Woodcliff Lake, NJ - March 21, 2005-- BMW of North America, LLC announced today the six 2005 Formula BMW USA Juniors who will receive a $40,000 scholarship and automatic enrollment in Formula BMW USA's Education and Coaching Program.
The drivers who earned the scholarships include two Americans, three Canadians and one Frenchman. Coming from Canada are, Adrien Herberts, 15, of Coquitlam, British Columbia; Kevin LaCroix, 16, of St-Eustache, Quebec; and Robert Wickens, 16, of Etobicoke, Ontario. Junior scholarship winner Wade Van Hooser declined the scholarship and the invitation was extended to the first-alternate, Wickens. If the performance of 2004 Junior driver and Rookie Champion James Hinchcliffe is any indication of the talent North of the border, the 2005 Championship battle will be a tough one. Juniors Justin Moon, 16, of Shingle Springs, Calif. and Reed Stevens, 19, of Palo Alto, Calif. will uphold the honor of the Golden State. Born in France, but making his home in Key Biscayne, Fla.,15-year old Philippe is the younger brother of Champ Car driver Nelson Philippe.
All six Juniors come either directly from karting or have less than one year's experience in a formula car. They will race for the Rookie championship, as well as the overall title.
Joining the six Juniors, 12 more young guns have signed on for the 2005 season. They include returning 2004 drivers Tom Sutherland, 16, and Derek Burseth, 21. Sutherland finished fifth in the 2004 Rookie Championship and 13th in the Overall Championship. Burseth ended the season seventh and 19th respectively. Daniel Herrington, 19, who raced in four rounds of the 2004 Championship, has elected to campaign the entire 2005 season.
International drivers competing in their first season of Formula BMW USA are third-generation Australian driver, James Davison, 18; Brazilian Renato Jader- David, 19; and 21-year-old Maxime Soulet, of Belgium.
U.S. entrants include, Darin Marcus, 17, of Northbrook, Ill.: Nathan DePagter, 16, of Sheboygan Falls, Wis.; John Zartarian, 17, of Carlsbad, Calif.; Matt Lee, 15, of Syosset, NY; Rob Bunker,16, of Bridgewater, NJ; and, with perhaps the coolest racing name since Speed Racer, Race Johnson, 16, of West Linn, Ore.
As the start of the 2005 Formula BMW USA season approaches, officials, teams and drivers are adding the final ingredients to a recipe that will ensure another excellent year of open-wheel racing and produce the next Formula BMW USA Champion.
Over the next two months, three official tests will be held at Road Atlanta, Virginia International Raceway and Carolina Motorsports Park.