Woodcliff Lake, NJ - June 3, 2005-- Racing in support of both the Canadian and United States Grands Prix on back-to-back weekends, Rounds 5 through 8 of the Formula BMW USA Championship is one of the highlights of the 14-Round season. The...
Woodcliff Lake, NJ - June 3, 2005-- Racing in support of both the Canadian and United States Grands Prix on back-to-back weekends, Rounds 5 through 8 of the Formula BMW USA Championship is one of the highlights of the 14-Round season.
The Formula BMW USA Championship takes to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve next Friday, June 10th, for the first practice session of the Round 5 and 6 weekend, and 22 young drivers will literally be following in the tire tracks of their racing heroes.
Friday's 30-minute practice session is scheduled to begin immediately after Formula One's first free-practice of the weekend. At 4:55 p.m., the starting positions for both Rounds 5 and 6 will be determined by each driver's two quickest times in a single 30-minute qualifying session.
The performance of the drivers and their team during that qualifying session will likely be the key to success or disappointment in the two races that follow because, as in Formula One, a good starting position most often translates to a good finishing position.
St-Eustache, Quebec's Kevin Lacroix and Richard Philippe have each won two Rounds this season. Overall and Rookie Championship leader Lacroix has won twice from the fourth starting position. 15 year-old Phillipe has capitalized on two of his four pole positions and stands third in the Overall Championship and second in the Rookie Championship. Belgium's Maxime Soulet, three times a podium finisher, stands in between the two BMW Junior drivers in the Overall Championship. The 21-year old has never started, or finished, worse than fifth this season.
In 2004, every Formula BMW USA driver was awed by the venue and large crowds at Montreal. The reaction of this year's contingent of talented youngsters is sure to be the same but, this year they will have another significant challenge.
Third-place finisher in the 2004 Formula BMW USA Championship and winner of 2004's Round 3 at Montreal, Jonathan Summerton, has elected to drive in the next four Rounds. Summerton, currently standing 13th in the German Formula BMW ADAC Championship, will be the most experienced driver in the field and already knows the way to the top of the podium.
Of course, where ever Summerton finishes, there are 21 other positions to be decided, and, as seen at Laguna Seca and Mid-Ohio earlier this season, each and every one is certainly to be a hard-fought battle.
Practice will be held on Friday, June 10 at 12:45 p.m., followed by the single qualifying session at 04:55 p.m. The Round 5 race is scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. Saturday and the Round 6 race is scheduled to start at 9:15 a.m. Sunday.
Formula BMW is the world's leading entry-level class in Formula racing. In 2005 the series will be held in Germany, Britain, Asia and the USA. Up-and-coming drivers as young as 15-years-old are given the opportunity of entering motor racing with the high-tech, standard FB02 race car.
This racing car has been seen on the grid since 2002 and has set standards particularly on the safety technology front. The single-seater is propelled by a 140 bhp BMW engine up to 230km/h and exceeds by far the safety requirements for its class. BMW Motorsport has developed the FORS Formula Rescue Race Seat especially for Formula BMW. The HANS® safety system is also mandatory.
In 2005, Formula BMW will be staged five times as part of the Formula One support program. All the series offer a multifaceted Education and Coaching Program as well as sponsorship for promising racing talents. The best-known alumni of this talent hothouse are Formula One drivers Ralf Schumacher and Christian Klien.
BMW Motorsport Director Dr. Mario Theissen: "Formula BMW offers talented young drivers more than just a car. In the Education and Coaching Program we have designed specially for them, they learn everything they need to know to hold their own in the big wide world of motor racing. Formula BMW has shot out of the blocks to become the top entry-level class for Formula racing worldwide."
In December 2005 the Bahrain International Circuit will host the first Formula BMW World Final. Young racing drivers from the four regional Formula BMW series will compete against each other. The winner will get the chance to test a BMW WilliamsF1 Team car.