USA: Indianapolis: Rounds 7, 8 preview

Woodcliff Lake, NJ - June 14, 2005-- The 2005 Formula BMW USA season reaches its halfway point at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend, providing the ultimate venue for 23 eager young Formula BMW competitors to show some of the finest ...

Woodcliff Lake, NJ - June 14, 2005-- The 2005 Formula BMW USA season reaches its halfway point at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend, providing the ultimate venue for 23 eager young Formula BMW competitors to show some of the finest entry-level, open-wheel racing in the world.

As the preparations for the United States Grand Prix weekend begin, the battle for the title of 2005 Formula BMW USA Champion is tightening up considerably. Prior to the Round 6 race at Montreal on Sunday, only Kevin Lacroix (AIM Autosport) and Richard Philippe (Team Autotecnica) had reached the top of the podium. Philippe has two wins (R2, R4) while Overall and Rookie Points leader Lacroix has three (R1, R3, R5). Robert Wicken's (Team Apex Racing USA) breakthrough win in Round 6, however, and Lacroix's retirement in the early stages of that race has changed both points races considerably.

In the Overall points, only a scant nine separates Lacroix (72) from Maxime Soulet (63) in second. Wickens now stands third (62), only one point behind Soulet. Behind them are Philippe and Reed Stevens, each with 49 points.

The Rookie battle has also closed up. Lacroix (75) leads Wickens (73) by two points. Stevens stands third (56), Philippe fourth (54) and James Davison fifth (41).

Wickens certainly had his finest weekend of the season at Montreal, but Rob Bunker and Matt Lee also recorded their best finishes. Every young Formula BMW USA driver is getting faster and each Round is becoming increasingly competitive.

Last weekend was one for the Canadians, with Lacroix and Wickens winning. Will a US driver seize the day at Indy?

Added into the Indianapolis mix are two fast competitors from the German Formula BMW ADAC Series. German BMW Junior driver Tobias Hegewald scored the pole for both Montreal races and took a third in Round 6. Jonathan Summerton already knows how to win at Indy, having become the youngest-ever to win a race at the world's best known race track with his win in Round 5 in the 2004 Formula BMW USA Series. Summerton finished second in Round 5 at Montreal, so he is sure to be a factor at Indy.

Last season, the Indianapolis rounds provided some of the best racing of the season. With this season's competition at a fever pitch, Rounds 7 and 8 are sure to eclipse them for action and excitement.

Practice will be held on Friday, June 17 at 10:05 a.m., followed by the single qualifying session at 4:45 p.m. The Round 7 race is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and the Round 8 race is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

-bmw-

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Series Formula BMW
Drivers James Davison , Reed Stevens , Kevin Lacroix , Maxime Soulet , Richard Philippe , Tobias Hegewald , Jonathan Summerton , Matt Lee