Morad Starts 2007 Season with Round 1 Victory Tooele, Utah - May 19, 2007-- BMW Junior Daniel Morad (Eurointernational) became the first race winner of the 2007 Formula BMW USA Championship by taking the Round 1 victory today at Miller...
Morad Starts 2007 Season with Round 1 Victory
Tooele, Utah - May 19, 2007-- BMW Junior Daniel Morad (Eurointernational) became the first race winner of the 2007 Formula BMW USA Championship by taking the Round 1 victory today at Miller Motorsports Park, in Tooele, Utah. It was the second career Formula BMW win for the 2006 Rookie Champion as he bested the 20-car field in the 17-lap race. Starting from the second position, he finished .758 seconds ahead of fellow Junior team member Jeffrey Petriello (Team KMA). Alexander Rossi (Hearn Motorsports) finished third.
Using his experience Morad got a good start and took the lead heading into the first turn. Polesitter Esteban Gutierrez (Autotechnica) followed in second. At the end of the turn 12 he dropped behind both Petriello and Rossi. He followed Rossi closely and tried a pass on lap nine, but ultimately had to settle for fourth. Ricardo Favoretto (HBR Motorsport Team USA) rounded out the top five.
Morad set the fastest lap of the race and a new lap record (1:30.739) on lap 12. A full-course caution occurred on the next lap for contact between Phillip Major (Autotecnica) and Julia Landauer (Team KMA). The restart on lap 15 allowed Favoretto to make his move over Sebastian Saavedra (Eurointernational) for fifth, placing three BMW Juniors in the top-five.
Morad held a two-car advantage over Petriello as the field began the penultimate lap. Unfortunately a mid-pack crash between Maxime Pelletier (Gelles Racing) and Mike Hill (Team KMA) ultimately collected Matt Ferris (Gelles Racing), Tim Hollowell (TADD Motorsports) and Eric Morrow (Hearn Motorsports). All continued except for Ferris and the race ended under the second caution of the race.
The top-finishing Rookies were Petriello (P2), Gutierrez (P4), Ricardo Favoretto (P5), Hollowell (P14) and Keenan Schmitke (P15).
The Round 2 race is scheduled to start at 11:10 a.m. tomorrow.
"It was not exactly the start I was looking for as I did not get as much wheelspin as I was looking for," said Morad. "This circuit has a lot of traction off the start. Once I was up front I controlled the pace, keeping a marginal lead so as not to cook the tires. We need to use them tomorrow as well. The final yellow was a big relief as I did not have to push any harder."
Petriello said, "The start was very tight as everyone bogged down. You had to be very careful. I was able to get by Esteban at the beginning. It was a lot of work keeping Alexander behind me."
Rossi added, "At the start of the race my goal was to maintain fourth, but when Daniel and Jeffrey got close it allowed me to get past Esteban. Jeffrey drove a great race. I could not get by so focused on keeping Esteban behind me."