Lee Blasts from 15th to Eighth Friday In Second Formula BMW Race at Road Atlanta BRASELTON, Ga., Sept. 30 - Fifteen-year-old Matt Lee of Syosset, N.Y. turned a 15th place starting spot into a solid eighth-place finish in the Formula BMW USA...
Lee Blasts from 15th to Eighth Friday In Second Formula BMW Race at Road Atlanta
BRASELTON, Ga., Sept. 30 - Fifteen-year-old Matt Lee of Syosset, N.Y. turned a 15th place starting spot into a solid eighth-place finish in the Formula BMW USA season finale at Road Atlanta Friday.
He ended up 16th out of 29 drivers in the overall point standings for the year after 14 races with his car, Twin tooth/BRM Motorsports' No. 44 sponsored by Credit Suisse. He was tenth out of 19 drivers in the rookie standings for the year.
Lee qualified 16th for Friday's race on Road Atlanta's demanding 2.54-mile, 12-turn road course, but he actually started 15th when Kevin Lacroix's car had a problem in technical inspection. He passed Adrien Herberts on lap two, and then he moved up one more spot when Justin Moon fell back on lap four.
Lee passed Tom Sutherland on lap six to move into 12th place, and then he set his sights on Race Johnson. He passed Johnson on lap eight, and then he got locked up in a fierce battle with Maxime Soulet for tenth place.
He passed Soulet on lap 10 of the 13-lap event, but Soulet passed him back on lap 11. Although Soulet has been on the podium five times this year, Lee wasn't intimidated by the Belgium driver at all and he repassed Soulet with one lap to go to regain tenth place.
The next two spots were bonus ones, as James Davison and Robert Wickens got together at the end and Lee moved up to eighth place at the checkered.
"I guess that was the highlight of my race; those were two easy positions," Lee said afterwards back at the transporter. "It wasn't a close call; when they got together I wasn't that close to them. I was trying to pass John Zartarian at the end, but I couldn't.
"My car was oversteering," he added. "On a scale of one to 10, it was a five today.
"I definitely wanted to finish the season on a better note, but we're going to do tons of testing over the winter to get ready for next year," he added. "We're going to test everything we can; Formula Renaults, Mazdas, sports cars, everything, because we want to do better in the 2006 Formula BMW season.
"I want to thank Bruce Miller, Chris Conigliaro, Bill Valet, Oswaldo Negri, Dan Nery and my dad for everything they did for our team this year," he concluded.
The twin 30-minute Formula BMW races held here at Road Atlanta Thursday and Friday were companion events to Saturday's Petit Le Mans American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race. Lee finished seventh in the first race.
Reed Stevens won Friday's race over Richard Philippe and Edoardo Piscopo.
Lee's team is based in Amityville, N.Y.
For more information, see twintoothracing.com and formulabmwusa.com.