MOSPORT - ROUND 14 - RACE Daniel Morad - Winner and Champion Daniel Morad (Eurointernational) ended the 2007 Formula BMW USA season as he began it - a winner. After clinching the Overall title yesterday with a fourth-place finish in Round 13,...
MOSPORT - ROUND 14 - RACE
Daniel Morad - Winner and Champion
Daniel Morad (Eurointernational) ended the 2007 Formula BMW USA season as he began it - a winner. After clinching the Overall title yesterday with a fourth-place finish in Round 13, the 17- year old Canadian added a record sixth win today.
Morad led from the pole and was never passed in the 16-lap race at Mosport International Raceway, finishing .652 seconds ahead of season-long rival Esteban Gutierrez (Autotecnica). Morad set a new race record on lap nine with a 1:23.464 minute lap. 16-year old Gutierrez, from Monterrey, Mexico, won this season's Rookie Championship earlier this month at Road America and finished second to Morad in the Overall point standings. He took a record nine poles this year, winning four times.
Maxime Pelletier (HBR Motorsport Team USA) finished third, the fifth time this season the second-year Formula BMW USA driver has podiumed. HBR Motorsport teammates Junior Ricardo Favoretto and Steven Gurerrero rounded out the top-five finishers.
There was no question about the weather for today's race as a bright afternoon sun shone on the 14-car grid. Morad answered the green lights with a great start, opening up a 2.4 second gap to Gutierrez by the time the race's only yellow flag flew for a lap nine crash by Mike Hill (Team KMA Racing). The field followed the BMW M Coupe safety car until the green flag waved to begin lap 13 with Morad, Gutierrez, Pelletier, Alexander Rossi (Team Apex Racing USA) and Favoretto in the top-five. Favoretto and Guerrero moved up in the final two laps as Rossi faded to sixth.
Morad's Eurointernational won their second consecutive Formula BMW USA Team Championship.
Morad said, "Formula BMW USA has meant so much to me. There are so many aspects to this series that help you, but ultimately they make sure it is up to the driver. 6 wins, 10 podiums and the championship - I couldn't ask for much more, could I?"
Gutierrez said, "Three years ago I convinced my mom and dad to buy me a go kart so to finish second overall and win the Rookie championship in my first season in formula car racing is like a dream come true."
Pelletier said, "I am disappointed not to have won this year, but after changing teams and finishing on the podium five times I know this year was a success. I led at Indy and almost won at Lime Rock, but came up a little bit short. I know what I have learned in two seasons of Formula BMW USA will serve me well as I move ahead."
The top-finishing Rookie drivers were Gutierrez (P2), Ricardo Favoretto (P4), Eric Morrow (P11) and Timothy Hollowell (P12).
As Formula BMW USA continues developing plans for 2008 and following years, one more major event is on the calendar of many Formula BMW USA competitors this season - the Formula BMW World Final in Valencia, Spain on November 24-25th with its grand prize to the winner - a test with the BMW Sauber F1 Team.