Philippe stays on top in Round 2 Qualifying Monterey, Calif. - April 30, 2005-- 15-year old BMW Junior and Rookie driver Richard Philippe (Team Autotecnica) continued to show the rest of the 20-car Formula BMW USA field the rear of his Team ...
Philippe stays on top in Round 2 Qualifying
Monterey, Calif. - April 30, 2005-- 15-year old BMW Junior and Rookie driver Richard Philippe (Team Autotecnica) continued to show the rest of the 20-car Formula BMW USA field the rear of his Team Autotecnica FB02 as he scored his second pole position of the weekend. His 11th lap of 1:29.419 minutes around the 2.238-mile Laguna Seca circuit was good enough for the Round 2 pole and to hold off the last minutes attempt by second place qualifier Maxime Soulet (Gelles Racing), of Belgium, (1:29.657) to take the pole away. Canadian BMW Junior and Rookie driver Kevin LaCroix rounded out the international top- three with a 1:29.835 minute lap.
As the drivers become more familiar with Laguna Seca's twists and turns, everyone's times are getting faster and closer together. As in yesterday's qualifying session, the top-seven were all within one second of the pole, and all one-second faster.
The quickest Rookies in today's qualifying session were Philippe (P1), LaCroix (P3), James Davison (P4), Justin Moon (P5) and Kevin Wickens (P6).
"The track was quite green this morning and there was a lot more rubber down from yesterday's Grand Am practice sessions," said Philippe. "We decided to put on two new tires during the session to go for the quick lap and it worked out well."
21-year old Soulet said, "I only had four laps yesterday because I was a bit late. Getting to review the data and being able to think about the track made the difference in today's effort. I know I will be quicker in the race."
Not completely satisfied with third, LaCroix looked toward the races. "The track and car set-up were much better for me today. All of the Grand Am classes qualify and race before both Formula BMW USA races so the conditions will certainly change. I think the track will be slower for us, but I believe I can move up to the front."
The Round 1 race is scheduled to start at 1:45 p.m. today. Sunday's Round 2 race is scheduled to start at 3:35 p.m.