Formula BMW USA Completes First Two Official Test Sessions Woodcliff Lake, NJ - May 4, 2004 -- The inaugural Formula BMW USA Championship made additional steps towards its opening rounds as the first two of 10 official test sessions were...
Formula BMW USA Completes First Two Official Test Sessions
Woodcliff Lake, NJ - May 4, 2004 -- The inaugural Formula BMW USA Championship made additional steps towards its opening rounds as the first two of 10 official test sessions were recently completed.
Five teams and nine drivers from ages 15 to 21 attended the first official test at Sebring International Raceway on April 12 and 13. A second test was held April 22 at Putnam Park inMount Meridian, Ind.
Participating were five of the six BMW Junior drivers -- Graham Rahal (Team Rahal), Jonathan Summerton (HBR Motorsport), Trevor Daley (Atlantic Racing), Tom Milner (Team PTG) and Billy Johnson (Team PTG). James Hinchcliffe, recently signed with AIM Autosport, will attend the upcoming May 12, 13 test at Mid-Ohio. Other drivers that attended were Red Bull Driver Search winner Matt Jaskol (Team Autotecnica), Alexis Fenton (Team Autotecnica), Andreas Wirth (HBR Motorsport) and Tom Sutherland (Team PTG).
"To have nine drivers at our first test was fantastic, especially considering the tight timeline we have had." said Alex Schmuck, Formula BMW USA Manager. "All of our six scholarship winners have signed with teams now and five of them attended the first test. This is a clear signal that when presented with this opportunity they chose to take it. In fact, seven of the nine drivers at the Sebring test attended our January licensing school in Valencia, Spain."
The teams at Sebring were supported by a full staff from BMW Motorsport that included, Michael Muhlberger (Project Manager Formula BMW), Juergen Breuer (BMW Motorsport Technician), Mike Strotmann (Formula BMW Operations/School), Jurgen Gnamm (Technical Series Coordinator) and Harald Waldherr (Schnitzer Motorsport Engine Technician).
"In the last few months we have assembled the infrastructure of our series," continued Schmuck. "Our specially constructed trailer is stocked with spare parts from Mygale, the Magny-Cours, France-based car manufacturer. Michelin North America is on board with tire service and will be at each official test and all of our races. We had a full support team of Formula BMW staff from Germany at Sebring and they have now fully trained our Formula BMW USA personnel. Overall, I think we have made a very strong start to the season."
With the pre-season testing ban delayed until May 1, Formula BMW USA teams can continue to test at any track not visited by the Championship. The next official test is scheduled for May 12 and 13 at Mid-Ohio. The season begins at Lime Rock Park on May 28-31.
BMW 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, driven by a 140 bhp BMW motorcycle engine that takes it 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.
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. ROLLS-ROYCE Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand, the MINI brand, and the ROLLS-ROYCE brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, an industrial design firm in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all Z4 roadster and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 340 BMW passenger car centers, 327 BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 148 BMW motorcycle retailers, 73 MINI passenger car dealers, and 25 ROLLS-ROYCE Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North, Central and South America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.