USA: MSR Houston test wrap-up

INTRODUCTORY TEST SHOWS A STRONG 2007 FORMULA BMW USA ENTRY Woodcliff Lake, NJ - April 26, 2007-- With 20 young racers registered for the full season and additional drivers intending to compete in two or more rounds, the Formula BMW USA ...

INTRODUCTORY TEST SHOWS A STRONG 2007 FORMULA BMW USA ENTRY

Woodcliff Lake, NJ - April 26, 2007-- With 20 young racers registered for the full season and additional drivers intending to compete in two or more rounds, the Formula BMW USA championship met recently for its Official Introductory Test at MSR Houston Raceway on April 21-22.

An enthusiastic Sebastian Saavedra (Eurointernational), returning for his second year of Formula BMW USA competition, set the quickest overall time of both test days, posting a 1:30.930 minute lap around the 2.38-mile, 17-turn circuit. 2006 Rookie Champion and 2007 BMW Junior driver Daniel Morad (AIM Autosport) was only 0.019 sec behind. Saavedra and Morad were the only two drivers to set a time within the 1:30 minute bracket, but the rest of the field was close behind. Rookie driver Esteban Gutierrez (Autotecnica) posted the third fasted time showing that the new drivers will be a challenge for the field that includes the nine returning from 2006.

Also consistently close to the top of the timing charts was Race Johnson (HBR Motorsport Team USA). Johnson, also returning from the 2006 championship, was very fast at the first Official Test at Road Atlanta four weeks ago.

BMW Junior Jeffrey Petriello (Team KMA Racing) and new-comer Alexander Rossi (Hearn Motorsports) also demonstrated their skills on Houston's challenging mixture of high and low speed corners. Both youngsters posted top-ten times.

In its fourth season, Formula BMW USA will again showcase an international field of young talented race car drivers competing in one of the world's most impressive entry-level open wheel racing series. With ten racers from the United States and five from Canada, North America represents the largest part of the field. Central America is represented by two drivers from Mexico. South America will line-up two Brazilians and two Colombians.

One more test day is scheduled to be held on May 16 before the curtain rises on the 2007 Formula BMW USA racing season at Miller Motorsports Park, in Tooele, Utah on May 17-19.

Notes:

While the newest class of Formula BMW USA drivers tested at MSR, series graduates continue to excel. At the Grand Prix of Houston the same weekend, 2004 Formula BMW USA Junior Graham Rahal, in his first full season in the Champ Car World Series, finished second to become the youngest ever to reach a Champ Car podium.

Racing in support of the Champ Car Atlantic Series in Houston, 2004 Formula BMW USA Junior James Hinchcliffe qualified second and finished third. He currently stands third in the championship points.

2006 Formula BMW USA Champion Robert Wickens finished tenth in the Champ Car Atlantic race and leads the Rookie point standings.

Ten 2007 Formula BMW USA drivers will be participating in the pre-season Fitness Camp and a Media Training seminar which are scheduled for April 27 - 28 in Indianapolis, IN.

-credit: bmw.usa

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Graham Rahal , Robert Wickens , James Hinchcliffe , Sebastian Saavedra , Daniel Morad , Alexander Rossi , Jeffrey Petriello , Esteban Gutierrez