Rossi wins BMW race
On Saturday, Californian Alexander Rossi (Team Apex Racing USA) demonstrated that not only does he know the way to San Jose, but, more importantly, he knows the way through San Jose. Yesterday afternoon, 15 year-old Rossi, from Nevada City, California, scored his first Formula BMW USA victory in Round 9 at the San Jose Grand Prix. Starting from the pole and leading every circuit of the 25-lap race contested through the streets of San Jose, he finished 1.370 seconds ahead of Maxime Pelletier (HBR Motorsport Team USA). Pelletier set the fastest race lap (1:03.221) on the way to his fourth podium finish of the season. Robert Thorne (Team Apex Racing USA) finished third, the first time the second- year Formula BMW driver has reached the podium.
Esteban Gutierrez (Autotecnica) came from 16th to finish fourth however he was disqualified following post race technical inspection, but still retains his lead in the Rookie points. BMW Junior Ricardo Favoretto (HBR Motorsport Team USA) finished fourth, the highest finishing rookie and his fourth top-five finish of the season. Yannick Hofman (Eurointernational) finished fifth.
The top-finishing Rookie drivers were Favoretto (P4), Eric Morrow (P6), Jeffrey Petriello (P7) and Timothy Hollowell (P13).
Overall points leader and outside front row starter Daniel Morad (Eurointernational) finished a season's-worst 12th after contacting the wall in turn six halfway into the race bringing out the only full course yellow of the race.
The youngest driver in this year's Championship, Julia Landauer (Team KMA), finished 9th, her first top-10 result of the season.
"The pole was fantastic, but the win is even better obviously," said elated Rossi. "Morad was on my gearbox immediately and I was able to keep my head and hold him off. Ultimately he made a mistake which is unfortunate, but that is racing sometimes. I had a fantastic car today and on the restart I got a good jump on Maxime. From there I just held off the pack."
Pelletier said, "I got lucky in the first corner with some others crashing, I was behind my teammate Steven (Guerrero) for a while until he made a mistake and touched the wall. I continued and hoped to gain more spots. After the restart, I missed a shift in turn 7 and I was thinking more about Robert (Thorne) behind me than focusing on getting first."
Thorne added, "Being on the podium for the first time is a great feeling, I kept pushing and focusing on keeping to my own race. I am glad my team mate is up here with me. I have to thank Auto Parts Warehouse and my team for an awesome car, it has been great all weekend."
With just five rounds remaining in the 2007 championship, BMW's commitment to the future of Formula BMW USA has resulted in the completion of the first two license courses for the 2008 season held this week at the Formula BMW Racing Center in Valencia, Spain. Following next week, the most successful participants will receive an invitation to return to compete for one of the coveted 2008 BMW Junior scholarships.
The Round 10 race is scheduled to start at 9:55 a.m. tomorrow.
Round 9 - Results (25 laps)
1 Alexander Rossi Team Apex Racing USA 30:31.447
2 Maxime Pelletier HBR Motorsport Team USA 30:32.817
3 Robert Thorne Team Apex Racing USA 30:33.890
4 Ricardo Favoretto (R) HBR Motorsport Team USA 30:36.162
5 Yannick Hofman EUROINTERNATIONAL 30:38.646
6 Eric Morrow (R) Hearn Motorsports 30:39.053
7 Jeffrey Petriello (R) Team KMA Racing 30:42.310
8 Billy Goshen Hearn Motorsports 30:43.030
9 Julia Landauer Team KMA Racing 30:50.155
10 Steven Guerrero HBR Motorsport Team USA 16:53.483
11 Daniel Morad EUROINTERNATIONAL 15:03.600
12 Jordan Dick JD Racing 14:07.470
13 Timothy Hollowell (R) Team KMA Racing 14:32.545
14 Mike Hill Team KMA Racing 6:04.388
15 Philip Major Autotecnica 2:07.139
16 Esteban Gutierrez (R)* Autotecnica --:--:---
* Excluded from results for violation of 5.15 of the 2007 Formula BMW USA regulations.