USA: Indianapolis round five race notes

Morad Climbs Indy Fence after Round 5 Win Indianapolis, Ind. - June 16, 2007-- Canadian Daniel Morad (Eurointernational) climbed the Indianapolis Motor Speedway fence in front of the United States Grand Prix front straight crowd after winning ...

Morad Climbs Indy Fence after Round 5 Win

Indianapolis, Ind. - June 16, 2007-- Canadian Daniel Morad (Eurointernational) climbed the Indianapolis Motor Speedway fence in front of the United States Grand Prix front straight crowd after winning Round 5 the 2007 Formula BMW USA Championship today. Besting the 18-car field, he finished .790 seconds ahead of Maxime Pelletier (HBR Motorsport Team USA) in the 15 lap race around the 2.605- mile Grand Prix circuit. Pelletier's podium was a career-best for the second year Formula BMW USA driver.

The win was Morad's third consecutive and fourth of the season. He continues to lead the Overall point standings. Esteban Gutierrez (Autotecnica), today's polesitter, finished third and continues to lead the Rookie points.

Alexander Rossi (Hearn Motorsports) finished fourth for his third top-five finish of the season. Adrien Tambay (Eurointernational), a Formula BMW Germany Junior, garnered a top-five finish in his first Formula BMW USA race.

At the race start, it was a surprisingly strong Pelletier who took the lead from his outside front row starting position. Gutierrez took over the point on lap three as the drafting battles down the long front straight began. By lap five Morad had the lead and shared almost a two second gap with Gutierrez back to Pelletier, now in third. A local yellow flag in turn 1 for a collision between Ricardo Favoretto (HBR Motorsport team USA) and Philip Major (Autotecnica) froze the first three in their positions for the next three laps. Pelletier was back in the lead on lap nine while Morad battled Gutierrez. On lap 13, just after Rossi finally cleared Tambay for fourth, Morad took the lead from Pelletier heading into turn 1. The final two circuits did not see a change in the top-five finishers.

Sebastian Saavedra (Eurointernational) finished ninth, after starting 10th. He was credited with the race's fastest lap (1:38.916) on lap 4.

The top-finishing Rookie drivers today were Gutierrez (P3), Tambay (P5), Jeffrey Petriello (P8), Eric Morrow (P12) and Timothy Hollowell (P13).

Round 6 is scheduled to start at 9:40 a.m. Sunday.

"I'm certainly on a big high right now, said Morad. "I had a decent start, but with the long straights I knew we would trade the lead many times. I slowed the pace to allow Maxime to get by me as I thought I needed another driver to help me break the draft with Esteban. When we had developed a gap to him I felt confident to go back by Maxime with two laps to go. It might have been a risk to pass that early but the car was flawless today."

Pelletier said, "I had a much better start than I expected and led for a few laps. When Daniel and Esteban passed me I knew it would be hard to get back by them. I don't know why they slowed, but I led again. Daniel passed me again and I thought I could catch him, but the car developed an understeer in the last corner so I focused on maintaining my position. To have my best race here is a great feeling and I can feel my confidence growing."

Gutierrez added, "It was a tough, competitive race. Daniel and Maxime did a very good job and I see that I have a few things still to learn about drafting on these long straights."

-credit: bmw.usa

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Series Formula BMW
Drivers Phillip Major , Maxime Pelletier , Sebastian Saavedra , Daniel Morad , Alexander Rossi , Ricardo Favoretto , Timothy Hollowell , Esteban Gutierrez , Eric Morrow , Adrien Tambay