World Final Thursday report

Marco Holzer Wins Three out of Three to Take Pole. Bahrain, December 15... Marco Holzer (AM-Holzer Rennsport GmbH) finished the heats for the Formula BMW World Final with the perfect score - 0. The German driver won all of his heats and beat the...

Marco Holzer Wins Three out of Three to Take Pole.

Bahrain, December 15... Marco Holzer (AM-Holzer Rennsport GmbH) finished the heats for the Formula BMW World Final with the perfect score - 0. The German driver won all of his heats and beat the Super Pole winner, Nicolas Huelkenberg (Josef Kaufmann Racing), to the coveted pole for tomorrow's Pre- Final, the curtain raiser to the World Final.

Huelkenberg, the 2005 Formula BMW ADAC Champion, will start alongside Holzer on the front row of the grid thanks to two wins and a second, while the most successful drivers in the heats from each series are Sam Bird from the UK who will start fourth, Robert Wickens from the USA who will start from seventh and Armaan Ebrahim from Asia who will start from 12th.

The Bahrain track has now become Holzer's favourite as he explained, "My tactics were just to go as fast as possible and this worked. This is the best track I have ever been on. I won all three heats today, which was perfect, and this was despite only starting from pole in one of them. It helped that on each of my starts I was able to be first into the first corner. My team worked very well and it was great that from the first free practice my car felt very good and I did not have to change many things. The set up feels just right for tomorrow and having new tires for the race will be better than today when I was on old tires."

Heat 1 - While polesitter Nicolas Huelkenberg led into the first corner, it was João Urbano who was first at the end of lap one. However, this was short lived as the German driver was soon through and from then on extended his lead so at the end of the race he was over three seconds ahead of the field. Urbano then came under pressure from Nathan Antunes, but, despite lying second at the end of lap three, the Australian gradually dropped back down the field. Urbano was then able to pull away from the rest of the field, but the battle for third was fast and furious and at the end of lap five only two seconds covered places three to eight. Sadly the foggy weather then played a part in the result as the red flag was brought out at the end of lap 13 because visibility was too bad. In these circumstances the result is taken from the previous lap so the top three were Huelkenberg, Urbano and Jonathan Summertown, despite Edoardo Piscopo having taken third on the 13th lap. Result: 1. Huelkenberg 17:32.344, 2. Urbano 17:35.512, 3. Summerton 17:38.876. Fastest Lap: Huelkenberg 1m 27.016s.

Heat 2 - Marco Holzer started from pole and led from start to finish, although he did come under extreme pressure from Sam Bird at the end of lap one. However, by the end of the second lap Sam had been relegated to third with Sebastien Buemi taking over second. At the front of the field these positions stayed the same with Holzer steadily pulling away to win by just over two seconds. However, Buemi never had the luxury of any breathing space as Bird was always in his wing mirrors and finished less than half a second behind. The driver who had the most to do during the race was Robert Wickens after having his qualifying time disallowed. He started from the very last place on the grid but crossed the line sixth just three tenths of a second behind Stian Sorlie. Result: 1. Holzer 21:54.369, 2. Buemi 21:56.626, 3. Bird 21:57.026. Fastest Lap: Wickens 1m 27.200s.

Heat 3 - It was the second man on the grid, Marco Holzer who got the best start for this race and took the lead that he held for all 15 laps. Also quick away from the start was João Urbano and at the end of lap one he was second with Nicolas Huelkenberg in third. However, on the next lap the positions were reversed and Urbano was being pressured by Sam Bird who overtook him for third on lap five. It was a short lived podium position for Bird as he went wide and even let his team-mate, Stian Sorlie, through into fourth for a couple of corners. Holzer pulled just over two and a half seconds ahead of Huelkenberg and kept this gap consistent until the checkered flag, while Urbano finished third, 4.3 seconds further back. Result: 1. Holzer 21:57.206, 2. Huelkenberger 21:59.742, 3. Urbano 22:04.056. Fastest Lap: Bird 1m 27.443s.

Heat 4 - While polesitter, Edoardo Piscopo, got the best start and led the field at the end of lap one, it was the man who was beside him on the front row, Sebastien Buemi, who took the lead on lap two and stayed there. However, Piscopo did everything in his power to get back and even dropped to third after trying to take the lead back on lap five. Chasing this pair was Matt Howson, who had started his previous heat from the pit lane. Howson had Ross Curnow behind him for most of the race and then on the final lap had the added pressure of Robert Wickens. He did another great drive from the back of the grid and was dicing wheel to wheel with the two British drivers as they approached the checkered flag. In the end the Canadian had to settle for fifth. Result: 1. Buemi 22:01.374, 2. Piscopo 22:03.931, 3. Howson 22:08.942. Fastest Lap: Wickens 1m 27.377.

Heat 5 - Nicolas Huelkenberg had to follow his rival Sebastien Buemi across the line at the end of lap one, but that was the last time he had to see the back of any car as on lap two he went ahead and stayed there. In fact, Huelkenberg had a relatively lonely race after lap three pulling away from second placed Ross Curnow. In the early laps Curnow was followed closely by João Urbano, but was able to leave him behind as the Portuguese driver battled wheel to wheel with Buemi. This battle allowed Robert Wickens, who had started last and got up to fifth by lap six, catch them up and eventually pass both cars on the penultimate lap to claim third. Result: 1. Huelkenberg 21:57.943, 2. Curnow 22:02.624, 3. Wickens 22:08.797. Fastest Lap: Huelkenberg 1m 27.320s.

Heat 6 - Edoardo Piscopo might have been on pole, but it was Marco Holzer who got the best start from the front row and lead from start to finish so assuring him of the perfect score from his three heats - 0. Piscopo was originally second but gradually dropped down the field and it was Sam Bird who slotted into this spot on lap two and stayed there. While the front two were untroubled, the same could not be said for Matt Howson who finished third. Howson and Stian Sorlie had a race long battle for this spot with wheel to wheel racing that saw them often separated by thousands of a second. 1. Holzer 21:49.209, 2. Bird 21:53.102, 3. Howson 21:59.441. Fastest Lap: Holzer 1m 27.507s.


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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Ross Curnow , Robert Wickens , Armaan Ebrahim , Marco Holzer , Joao Urbano , Sam Bird , Sébastien Buemi , Nathan Antunes , Stian Sorlie , Nico Hulkenberg