Rossi holds off Gutierrez in photo finish
The first race of the weekend for Road America set the stage for an exciting weekend of racing. American Alexander Rossi (Team Apex Racing USA) won Round 11 of the 2007 Formula BMW USA Championship today at Road America secured the win in the same manner as he earned a spot on the podium in Round 8 by a photo finish. The 15 year-old Californian led the final two laps of the 10-lap contest, winning by a scant .004 seconds over charging Rookie points leader Esteban Gutierrez (Autotecnica), who had started from the rear of the 16-car field. Formula BMW Germany Junior and Rookie Adrien Tambay (Eurointernational) finished third after leading the first half of the race.
HBR Motorsport Team USA teammates Ricardo Favoretto and Steven Guerrero rounded out the top-five.
Polesitter Philip Major (Autotecnica) got a good start, but Tambay, from the second starting spot, was past him in Turn 7 and would lead the next eight laps. With Morad, Rossi and Pelletier in pursuit, Gutierreiz began his charge forward from the rear of the grid.
With just a few laps remaining, Pelletier and Morad had contact, resulting in Pelletier retiring in the gravel. Morad continued at the rear of the field. Gutierrez, closer to the front, inherited third and set his sights on Rossi and Tambay. Crossing the line to complete lap eight, Gutierrez set the fastest race lap (2:18.373) and Rossi took the lead over Tambay in turn one. Farther back in the pack, Morad's day ended as a result of contact with Robert Thorne (Team Apex Racing USA) in turn one. On the last lap Gutierrez passed Tambay for second and tried Rossi in the final turn, but Rossi held on to take his second win of the season.
The top-finishing Rookie drivers were Gutierrez (P2), Tambay (P3), Favoretto (P4), Eric Morrow (P8) and Timothy Hollowell (P10).
Winner Rossi commented "I started off in third and I just focused on getting a good run. I had a very good run on Adrien going into turn one. I wasn't sure if I wanted to pass there as I wanted to be in second on the last lap, but the opportunity was there., so I took it."
Rookie Points leader Esteban said "It was a very tough race, coming from the back it was very hard. I had to be patient. I came up on Rossi on the straight and tried to get by, it was a very tight race at the end. It was a very good race."
Visiting driver Tambay shared, "The race was pretty good, I started off well and with the draft I lost a position. I think we made a mistake with the set up, but I look forward to the race tomorrow."
Despite his disappointing finish, Morad still leads the Overall point standings over Gutierrez, Rossi, Pelletier and Guerrero.
Round 12 is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.
Round 11 - Results (10 laps)
1 Alexander Rossi Team Apex Racing USA 23:28.893
2 Esteban Gutierrez (R) Autotecnica 23:28.897
3 Adrien Tambay (R) EUROINTERNATIONAL 23:29.501
4 Ricardo Favoretto (R) HBR Motorsport Team USA 23:31.651
5 Steven Guerrero HBR Motorsport Team USA 23:37.804
6 Philip Major Autotecnica 23:38.535
7 Robert Thorne Team Apex Racing USA 23:45.261
8 Eric Morrow (R) Hearn Motorsports 23:45.729
9 Yannick Hofman EUROINTERNATIONAL 23:48.412
10 Timothy Hollowell (R) Team KMA Racing 23:50.102
11 Jordan Dick JD Racing 23:52.226
12 Mike Hill Team KMA Racing 23:54.321
13 Jordan Lynch Hearn Motorsports 24:14.285
14 Julia Landauer Team KMA Racing 24:16.271
15 Daniel Morad EUROINTERNATIONAL 19:02.479 not running
16 Maxime Pelletier HBR Motorsport Team USA 14:11.373 not running
Championship points after 11 of 14 races:
1. Daniel Morad (EUROINTERNATIONAL, 407), 2. Esteban Gutierrez (Team Autotecnica, 331), 3. Alexander Rossi (Team Apex Racing USA, 311) 4. Maxime Pelletier (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 307), 5. Steven Guerrero (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 292), 6. Ricardo Favoretto (HBR Motorsport Team USA, 273), 8. Jordan Dick (JD Racing, 272) 9. Robert Thorne (Team Apex Racing USA, 269), 10. Yannick Hofman (EUROINTERNATIONAL, 268), 10. Sebastian Saavedra (EUROINTERNATIONAL, 258) 11. Jeffrey Petriello (Team KMA Racing, 242) 12. Philip Major (Team Autotecnica, 212), 13. Eric Morrow (Hearn Motorsports, 206) 14. Tim Hollowell (Team KMA Racing, 184) 15. Mike Hill (Team KMA Racing, 160), 16. Julia Landauer (Team KMA Racing, 128), 17. Lindsey Adams (Team Apex Racing USA, 84), 18. Matt Ferris (Gelles Racing, 80), 19. Adrien Tambay (EUROINTERNATIONAL, 69) 20. Billy Goshen (Hearn Motorsports, 48) 21. Felipe Polehtto (Team Apex Racing USA, 28) 22. Keenan Schmitke (Gelles Racing, 24) 22. Jordan Lynch (Hearn Motorsports, 16) 23. Michael Vincec (Jensen Motorsports, 12)