Stefano Coletti adds a Third Win to his four Formula BMW USA Appearances Indianapolis, Ind. - July 2, 2006-- Stefano Coletti (EuroInternational) won Round 8 of the Formula BMW USA championship today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, adding ...
Stefano Coletti adds a Third Win to his four Formula BMW USA Appearances
Indianapolis, Ind. - July 2, 2006-- Stefano Coletti (EuroInternational) won Round 8 of the Formula BMW USA championship today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, adding another win to his sweep of both rounds in Montreal. He also finished second in yesterday's Round 7 contest. Coletti is a Formula BMW Germany competitor and will not compete in the remainder of the USA championship. He finished 1.881 seconds in front of Robert Wickens (Team Apex Racing USA) in the 15 lap race. Coletti also set the fastest lap (1:37.991) of the race on lap five. Wickens, yesterday's Round 7 winner, retains the Overall championship points lead. Simona de Silvestro (EuroInternational) repeated her podium performance of yesterday for her third consecutive third-place finish. Polesitter Matt Lee (Team Autotecnica) finished fourth.
The race began with another excellent start from second place by Wickens who was able to lead polesitter Lee into the first corner. Further back Coletti began his charge from his 10th starting position to end the first lap in seventh. By lap two he was fifth, immediately behind teammate de Silvestro. Two laps later he passed Tobias Hegewald (Atlantic Racing Team) for third. Lee strongly challenged Wickens for the next two laps, ultimately losing second to Coletti. At the half-way point of the race the top-five were Wickens, Coletti, Lee, de Silvestro and Hegewald.
Going in to turn one at the start of lap 10 Coletti made his move, passing both Lee and Wickens. De Silvestro moved to third as Lee fell back to fifth position as he ran wide after hitting the curb. The race ended with Coletti, Wickens and de Silvestro opening a six-second gap to Lee, who passed Hegewald on lap 12 to come home in fourth.
Ryan Phinny (Hearn Motorsports) added a second sixth-place finish for his best weekend of the season. Scott Schroeder (American Sprit Grand Prix) finished eighth to record his third top-10 result of the year.
The top-five finishing Rookie drivers were Sebastian Saavedra (P9), David Garza (P10), Maxime Pelletier (P12), Daniel Morad (P13) and Jordan Dick (P17).
Wickens' podium finish secures him a 13 point Championship lead over runner-up Coletti who won three races in four Rounds. Lee stands third; De Silvestro and Daniel Morad (AIM Autosport) round out the top-five.
Sebastian Saavedra (Gelles Racing) again finished as best Rookie in today's race. That retains him on the top of the Rookie points with a 16 points lead over Maxime Pelletier (Gelles Racing) and Daniel Morad (AIM Autosport) who stand second and third respectively; David Garza (EuroInternational) and Jordan Dick (Team Apex Racing USA) round out the top-five.
"It is great! In Montreal I won two races and here in Indy with problems in the qualifying I still finished second yesterday and won today. I couldn't wish for a better result," said an excited Coletti. "Robert was first and Matt was third. I was second and tried to pass Robert while Matt tried to pass me. Matt was going in the inside and I went to the outside and at the end of the straightway I was third because Matt was faster. Matt hit the curb and nearly hit me but I was lucky. I braked very late and passed from the outside both cars to come on front." He added, "Going back to Germany I want to do the same. Now I am quite confident. In Germany you cannot really overtake but here you have long straights and can pass. Even starting from tenth you can win the race which is not possible in Germany."
Wickens said, "It was a great race. I am very pleased with where Matt Lee finished. My car wasn't as good as I was hoping. We did make a lot of changes but we didn't anticipate the track to change as much as it did. I developed more oversteer than I even had yesterday. I led the first half of the race but then I noticed when I saw Stefano in second position that I was sort of in trouble because he started in tenth. Matt Lee was very fast too but Coletti was able to close on me and overtake me. It was a very good race and my team Apex Racing did an amazing job this weekend. I am really happy that I got two podiums for them in Indy since it is their hometown race and they really deserve it."
De Silvestro said, "It is a great feeling to be twice on the podium in Indianapolis where I actually live right now. My teammate Stefano passed me and took some points away from me but he is only here for four races. After he is gone I hope to be in front of the remaining races and win the championship."
Formula BMW USA will next race in support of the Champ Car World Series with Rounds 9 and 10 at the San Jose Grand Prix on July 28-30 and Rounds 11 and 12 at the Grand Prix of Denver on August 11-13.