Woodcliff Lake, N.J. - August 10, 2004-- A very new experience is in store for the 2004 Formula BMW USA drivers as the Championship travels to Denver, Colorado for Formula BMW's first-ever street race. Rounds 11 and 12 will be held in support of...
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. - August 10, 2004-- A very new experience is in store for the 2004 Formula BMW USA drivers as the Championship travels to Denver, Colorado for Formula BMW's first-ever street race. Rounds 11 and 12 will be held in support of the August 13th to 15th Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver on the 1.647-mile temporary street course. For the youngest, such as Tom Sutherland and Graham Rahal, it will be the first time they have even driven on the street as they are not yet old enough to hold a road driver's license.
Andreas With continues to lead the Championship after a win in Round 9 and a third in Round 10 at Road America. Jonathan Summerton, a double winner in Rounds 7 and 8 at Cleveland and runner-up in Round 10, stands second. The most recent Formula BMW USA winner, Round 10 victor James Hinchcliffe, has moved to within one point of Summerton. Matt Jaskol and Billy Johnson continue to hold the fourth and fifth positions respectively.
Hinchcliffe still leads the Rookie points. Jonathan Summerton and Tom Milner stand second and third respectively in Rookie points.
As every race leading up to Denver has been a close, exciting contest with at least one pass for the lead it is hard to say who may be the favourite. Four drivers have found the checkered flag this season, Wirth, Summerton, Jaskol and Hinchcliffe. Denver, with its new set of challenges, may reward a fifth driver.
If anyone has an advantage at Denver, it may go to Hinchcliffe and Wirth as both have expererience on street circuits and like racing on them.
Round 10 winner Hinchcliffe is looking forward to Denver, "Coming from karting I think I have a driving style that suits tight, twisty circuits. Also, I have done very well on low-grip circuits and street circuits are usually just that. Coming off my first win I am doubly excited about my chances in Denver."
Championship points leader Andreas Wirth said, "I like street races because of the tight corners and the fact that you are driving as close as two inches away from the walls at times. Finishing can be the hardest part of a street race and the most important thing for me to do to win the Championship is to finish all of the races."
Practice and qualifying for Round 11 will be held on Friday, August 13th. Qualifying for Round 12 and the Round 11 race will be held on Saturday. The Round 12 race will start at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 15th.
BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen adds, "Our junior talent promotion program is an intensive basic education for successful kart drivers who want to move up into Formula racing. Our priorities are to create a level playing field through technically identical vehicles and scrupulously defined regulations, and to ensure maximum safety."
The ultra-modern Formula BMW racecar, which allows 15-year-olds to enter the world of motor racing, has been lining up on the grid all around the world since the 2002 season. It sets standards above all on the safety technology front. The single- seater, powered by a 140 bhp BMW motorcycle engine producing speeds up to 140 mph, features a carbon-fiber chassis and fulfils the safety requirements of the much higher-performance Formula 3 cars.
In 2004, Formula BMW will be staged in four different series held in Germany, England, Asia and the USA. Formula BMW events will be part of the Formula One support program on five occasions around the world. All the series go hand-in-hand with a comprehensive education and coaching program, as well as substantial financial backing for promising young talent. The most distinguished graduate is Ralf Schumacher. The star of the BMW WilliamsF1 Team made his racing debut in the junior class in 1992.