USA drivers World Final preview

FORMULA BMW USA GEARS UP FOR WORLD FINAL Nine drivers and five teams from the US series will compete at the DELL Formula BMW World Final Woodcliff Lake, NJ - November 9, 2006-- The DELL Formula BMW World Final is now firmly on the agenda of the...

Nine drivers and five teams from the US series will compete at the DELL Formula BMW World Final

Woodcliff Lake, NJ - November 9, 2006-- The DELL Formula BMW World Final is now firmly on the agenda of the Formula BMW USA drivers and teams. For the nine drivers from the US series that have chosen to accept the challenge, the World Final will provide a unique opportunity to pit themselves against the best drivers from the four international Formula BMW series held in Germany, the UK, Asia and the United States. Five teams from Formula BMW USA will find their way to Spain to support the young aspiring racing talents in their battle for the ultimate championship in its class.

>From November 24-26, the second DELL Formula BMW World Final is to be held on the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo in Spain. Racing in a tournament format, 37 young drivers from 16 countries will be competing not only for the US $60,000 prize money, but also for the winner's award: a test with the BMW Sauber F1 Team.

The international flavor of Formula BMW USA is readily apparent as not only drivers from the USA will fly to Spain's Mediterranean coast, but also talented racers from Canada and Colombia will make their appearance at the World Final to compete with other drivers from all over the world.

The 2006 Formula BMW USA championship was decided at Mosport International Raceway at the beginning of September with BMW Junior driver Robert Wickens (17), from Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada taking the title. Wickens, who finished sixth in the inaugural Formula BMW World Final last year, is one of the favorites heading toward Valencia, driving for his team EuroInternational. He will, however, face strong competition not only from the other three regional Formula BMW champions, but also from drivers he faced season-long.

Formula BMW USA runner-up Matt Lee (17), from Syosset, NY, finished the season only six points behind Wickens. He will line up with Team Autotecnica. Winning two races including the final Round at Mosport, Lee will challenge the competitors with his remarkable determined driving style.

Formula BMW USA Rookie Champion Daniel Morad (16), from Markham, Ontario Canada, who was already awarded with a BMW Junior scholarship towards 2007 participation in Formula BMW USA, will compete with AIM Autosport alongside Canadian Philip Major (17) from Ottawa. Major finished the Formula BMW USA season 21st in the championship points.

Team Gelles Racing will run five cars in the World Final with four seats taken by drivers from Formula BMW USA. They are Sebastian Saavedra (16), from Bogota, Colombia who finished second in Rookie points; French-Canadian BMW Junior driver Maxime Pelletier (16) from Longueuil, Quebec who finished third in the Rookie championship; Ryan Phinny (17) from Carmel Valley, California who finished tenth overall and 11th place finisher Canadian Adrien Herberts (17) from Coquitlam, British Columbia.

Frankie Muniz (20) from Los Angeles, California will compete with his team Jensen Motorsport. He finished 30th in Formula BMW USA, his first season of open-wheel competition in Formula BMW USA this year.

Wickens, who is testing with his team in Italy, proved himself in last year's World Final as a potential candidate for motor racing's top echelon. In the final race in Bahrain, he performed an impressive charge and worked his way up from the 25th starting position to finish sixth. Remembering his performance he states, "I think that the competition for the 2006 World Final will be just as strong as last year or maybe even stronger. I am happy that there are more drivers coming from the US championship this year." And he adds, "I think my chances of doing well are extremely good. A lot of people are probably expecting me to be fast because I am one of the four champions attending. I'm confident that if I can show the speed I did last year and use the experience that I gained, I will have a very good shot at the Formula 1 test."

Morad says, "I am really looking forward to this great opportunity to compete with some of the best drivers from around the world, and I have no doubt the competition will be fierce. This has become a very high profile event, not only for its ultimate prize, a Formula One test, but also for the great opportunity to perform in front of the who's who of motorsports." The Rookie adds, "This being my first year in auto racing, it has been a tremendous learning experience for me; and I feel comfortable and confident in myself that, with the help of my team, I can be one of the front runners."

Muniz states, "The experience in Valencia should be amazing. It's a great way to close out my year in Formula BMW. Since the final Formula BMW USA race, I have tested my Champ Car Atlantic race car for 10 days, so I am going to push and try to make the top-10 at the DELL Formula BMW World Final now that I have so much more experience."

Constructed in 1999, Valencia's "Circuit de la Comunitat Ricardo Tormo" is an ideal host for the DELL Formula BMW World Final. With its mild winter temperatures and unique stadium-style surroundings the Ricardo Tormo circuit is a spectacular facility characterized by a never-ending burst of tight corners connected by short straights that promise exciting race action.

-credit: bmw.usa

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Robert Wickens , Adrien Herberts , Phillip Major , Maxime Pelletier , Sebastian Saavedra , Daniel Morad , Ryan Phinny , Frankie Muniz , Matt Lee
Teams Sauber