Gutierrez Takes Round 2 Win From Pole Tooele, Utah - May 19, 2007-- Esteban Gutierrez (Autotecnica), of Monterrey, Mexico won in his second-ever Formula BMW USA start taking the Round 2 victory today at Miller Motorsports Park, in Tooele, ...
Gutierrez Takes Round 2 Win From Pole
Tooele, Utah - May 19, 2007-- Esteban Gutierrez (Autotecnica), of Monterrey, Mexico won in his second-ever Formula BMW USA start taking the Round 2 victory today at Miller Motorsports Park, in Tooele, Utah.
Starting from the pole the 15-year old Rookie finished 1.420 seconds ahead of yesterday's Round 1 winner Daniel Morad (Eurointernational) in the 17-lap contest. Steven Guerrero (HBR Motorsport Team USA) rounded out the podium, besting his eighth place finish in Round 1.
Both Morad and Guerrero are returning drivers, but the story of the weekend has been the strength of this year's Rookies with Gutierrez adding the win to his fourth place finish in Round 1. He also took both poles. Three Rookies finished in the top- 10 today, three finished in the top-five in Round 1.
Alexander Rossi (Hearn Motorsports) finished fourth today, setting the fastest lap of the race and a new race record (1:30.669) on lap 17. Ricardo Favoretto (HBR Motorsport Team USA) added a second fifth-place finish.
The race began under hot and sunny skies with Gutierrez taking the lead from front- row starter Morad. As the duo pulled away from the field Guerrero hounded third place starter Jeffrey Petriello getting by him after a few laps. Petriello maintained fourth until he went wide in turn 14 on lap 4 allowing both Sebastian Saavedra (Eurointernational) and Rossi to get by.
A quick caution on lap 11 for a stalled Julia Landauer (Team KMA) only briefly slowed the race. Morad got by Gutierrez on the restart, but the young Mexican executed a carefully calculated pass as the two headed into turn 1 on lap 14 to regain the lead.
The battle between Rossi and Saavedra continued until the two came together with Saavedra spinning off the track. He continued to finish 11th, however was penalized 20 seconds post-race for violation of the 2007 IMSA Code 5.7 (unjustifiable risk) moving him to 16th place.
As drivers farther back in the field fought for position on the last lap contact resulted in Mike Hill's (Team KMA) FB02 somersaulting. He was taken to track medical and released.
"Yesterday I made a mistake at the start, but today I did everything right," said Gutierrez. "The team helped me understand what I did wrong and I corrected it. Morad made a very good pass on the restart. I got nervous, but I followed him closely until I had the right opportunity to get back by him."
A gracious Morad said, "Esteban made a great start so I stayed behind him, hoping for a yellow and the opportunity to get back by him on a restart. I was able to do just that, but we may have missed the setup a bit today. Coming into those last corners I picked up some understeer and Esteban was able to get back by me. Really, this was his day."
Guerrero said, "My car was understeering a little at the start, but came in as the tires heated up. The tires cooled before the restart and I got the understeer back. I thought that maybe I would still have the chance to get by Esteban and Daniel while they were fighting, but it was not possible."
The top-finishing Rookies were Gutierrez (P1), Favoretto (P5), Petriello (P6), Eric Morrow (P13) and Timothy Hollowell (P15).
Morad leaves Utah with the Championship point lead, with Gutierrez just four points behind, but standing at the top of the Rookie points. Rossi holds a one-point margin over Petriello for third and Favoretto stands fifth.
The Formula BMW USA Championship next races in support of the Canadian Grand Prix on June 8 - 10 and the United States Grand Prix on June 15 - 17.