Eng wins Formula BMW World Final
Valencia -. Philipp Eng (AUT) of Team Mücke Motorsport is the winner of the third Formula BMW World Final. At Valencia's "Circuit de la Comunitat", the 17-year-old celebrated a dominant start to finish victory. His team- mate, Josef Král (CZE), crossed the line in second, but was later disqualified due to a technical infringement. Because of this Marco Wittmann (GER/Josef Kaufmann Racing) was awarded the runner-up spot. The reward for Jens Klingmann's (GER/Eifelland Racing) progress through the field from 11th on the grid was a third- place finish. However, the ultimate reward of the drive in a BMW Sauber F1 Team car went to overall winner, Eng.
BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen commented: "Congratulations to Philipp Eng for winning the Formula BMW World Final. After a long Formula BMW season this was another very important event for all the competitors. To take victory in such a competitive field is a great achievement."
"I cannot believe that I really won it," said Eng following the 22-lap contest. "From the very first practice session I felt really comfortable on this track, and thought about the possibility of making it onto the podium. That I managed to take victory, however, is just unbelievable. Many thanks to my team, who worked exceptionally hard for this success. To drive a Formula 1 car has always been one of my biggest dreams."
From pole position, Eng made an excellent start and stayed in front. Behind him, Daniel Morad (CAN/Eurointernational) and Král also defended second and third places respectively. On lap three, however, Morad - who had won two out of six intermediate heats - saw his hopes of winning the World Final come to an early end, when he was forced to retire due to a technical problem. Král took over second place, Jonathan Legris (GBR/Motaworld Racing) improved to third. Some great duels unfolded in the lead group, as well as down the entire field of the 34 drivers. Wittmann came under pressure from Formula BMW Germany's series winner, Klingmann, who had quickly moved up the field over the first few laps. Wittmann, however, opted for an aggressive strategy and overtook Legris for third place on lap 13. Klingmann also launched a successful attack on Legris one lap later. Eng finally took the checkered flag 3.7 seconds ahead of Král.
"I'm really satisfied with second place," said Wittmann. "Prior to the final race we had to do an engine change and were not 100 percent sure that everything would work fine. But it did perfectly, in the end." Klingmann was also satisfied, saying: ""Obviously this result comes as a surprise. I'm happy with it, as we have shown over the course of the weekend how quick we are. I won two heats. If I hadn't been forced to retire in heat 1, I could have scored an even better result."
Just minutes after his emotional triumph Eng was thinking about his drive with the BMW Sauber F1 Team. "I will prepare meticulously for the outing and try my best for a good performance." Theissen explained the meaning of an F1 appearance for the winner. "As we saw in the cases of Marco Holzer and Christian Vietoris, the winners of the past two World Final events, the Formula 1 drive will give them a clear reference point for where they are and where their career may lead."
During the Formula BMW World Final, the contestants from 19 countries met many drivers who have already made it to the top in international motor racing. As well as Formula 1 stars Nick Heidfeld (GER), Sebastian Vettel (GER) and Timo Glock (GER) they were also watched in Valencia by the BMW World Touring Car drivers. Heidfeld said: "I can really imagine how Philipp Eng and the other drivers felt. Events like the Formula BMW World Final are simply unique, and I really enjoyed them myself in the early stages of my career. There is only one decisive race - and therefore the pressure is high. To get the opportunity to drive a Formula 1 car is a true highlight for a young racer."
Next year, BMW will continue its talent promotion in three international Formula BMW series. Young guns will fight for points and victories in Formula BMW Europe, which will be held as part of the support program of Formula 1 on seven occasions, in Formula BMW Americas and in Formula BMW Asia.
Top-10 Results Formula BMW World Final.
||Josef Kaufmann Racing
||Double R Racing
||AM-Holzer Rennsport GmbH
11. Ricardo Favoretto, 12. Sam Abay, 13. Kimiya Sato, 14. Adrien Tambay, 15. Matthew Bell,
16. Thomas Hylkema, 17. Jack Lemvard, 18. Jazeman Jaafar, 19. Eric Morrow, 20. Zahir Ali,
21. Doru Sechelariu, 22. Kevin Mirocha, 23. Tom Gladdis, 24. Pedro Bianchini.
Retirements: Adam Butler, Daniel McKenzie, Mathijs Harkema, Daniel Morad, Tiago
Geronimi, Maxime Pelletier, Alexander Rossi.