Woodcliff Lake, N.J. & ...
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. August 3, 2004 Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, will host Rounds 9 and 10 of the Formula BMW USA Championship on August 7th and 8th. One of North America's classic road racing circuits, Formula BMW now joins the great racing series that have competed on Road America's 14 turns that wind through four miles of some of Wisconsin's most beautiful landscape. With passes for the lead in every race leading to Road America, Rounds 9 and 10 should prove equally exciting. Jonathan Summerton has won half of the races to- date, including a sweep of Rounds 7 and 8 at Cleveland. Summerton has moved into second place in the Championship, only seven points in arrears of his HBR Motorsport teammate, Andreas Wirth. Wirth, a double-winner in Rounds 1 and 2, has led the standings since the opening round and has never finished out of the top- five. Rookie points leader James Hinchcliffe stands third. The top-three have put a bit of distance between themselves and the rest of the field, but the chase for the inaugural Formula BMW USA Championship is anything but decided. Red Bull Search driver, Matt Jaskol, stands fourth. The Las Vegas youngster has had the speed it takes to to win, but not the luck to string top finishes together. Billy Johnson continues to hold fifth place.
Formula BMW USA Although he has yet to reach the top step of the podium, Hinchcliffe leads the Rookie points through eight top-five finishes, including four as runner-up. Jonathan Summerton and Tom Milner stand second and third respectively in Rookie points. "I am definitely ready to get back to the race track," said Summerton. "I have not been racing anything since Cleveland, but I feel I still have the momentum to win with me." Hinchcliffe said, "My goals for this year are to finish in the top-three of the Championship and win the Rookie title. Jonathan has made some ground up in the Rookie points recently, but second place just isn't an option for me. I have been training very hard throughout this past month and can't wait to get started again." Tom Milner, of Team PTG Motorsport, had his best races of the season at Cleveland with a pole, two fifth-place finishes and one fast race lap. He probably speaks for every one of the young Formula BMW USA competitors when he says, "My confidence in both myself and my car is growing with every lap I drive." Practice and qualifying for Round 9 will be held on Friday, August 6th. Qualifying for Round 10 and the Round 9 race will be on Saturday. The Round 10 race will start at 12:05 p.m. on Sunday.
Motorsport Director Mario Theissen adds, "Our junior talent promotion program is an intensive basic education for successful kart drivers who want to move up into Formula racing. Our priorities are to create a level playing field through technically identical vehicles and scrupulously defined regulations, and to ensure maximum safety."
The ultra-modern Formula BMW racecar, which allows 15-year-olds to enter the world of motor racing, has been lining up on the grid all around the world since the 2002 season. It sets standards above all on the safety technology front. The single- seater, powered by a 140 bhp BMW motorcycle engine producing speeds up to 140 mph, features a carbon-fiber chassis and fulfils the safety requirements of the much higher-performance Formula 3 cars. In 2004, Formula BMW will be staged in four different series held in Germany, England, Asia and the USA. Formula BMW events will be part of the Formula One support program on five occasions around the world. All the series go hand-in-hand with a comprehensive education and coaching program, as well as substantial financial backing for promising young talent. The most distinguished graduate is Ralf Schumacher. The star of the BMW WilliamsF1 Team made his racing debut in the junior class in 1992.