Formula BMW Americas confirms four 2008 Junior drivers Formula BMW Americas confirmed today the four young men who will receive BMW Junior scholarships for the 2008 season. They are Ricardo Favoretto, 19, of Sao Paulo, Brazil; Mikael Grenier, 15, of Quebec, Canada; Alexandre Ruiz, 16, of Sao Paulo, Brazil and Gianmarco Raimondo, 17, of St. Catherine, Ontario, Canada.
Favoretto, a 2007 Junior, finished second in the 2007 Formula BMW USA Rookie championship. Grenier, Ruiz and Raimondo won their scholarships at the scholarship shoot-outs held last year at the Formula BMW Racing Center at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo, in Valencia, Spain. Raimondo was awarded the scholarship when Juan Arenas chose not to participate.
Each 2008 Formula BMW Americas Junior will receive $80,000 towards participation in the championship and automatic complimentary enrollment in the Education and Coaching program.
The BMW Junior program has a proud tradition dating back to the mid-1970s. Since Formula BMW's beginnings in North America in 2004 the program has graduated quite a number of notable young drivers. They include Graham Rahal, Tom Milner, James Hinchcliffe, Jonathan Summerton, Richard Philippe, Kevin LaCroix, David Garza, Robert Wickens, and Daniel Morad.
Young drivers interested in joining this elite group can mark the dates of July 28- 29 and August 4-5 for the Licensing Courses for the 2009 Formula BMW Americas championship.
Finalizing the 14-race schedule, Rounds 5 and 6 will be held at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on June 20 - 22 in conjunction with the Rolex Sports Car Series' EMCO Gears Classic presented by Key Bank. Formula BMW visited Mid-Ohio in both the 2005 and 2006 seasons.
With the recent announcement of the merger between Champ Car and IRL, BMW driver Alex Zanardi (ITA), welcomes the decision and sees a positive future of open wheel racing in the United States:
"Open Wheel Racing has a great history in the US. For me, it is fantastic to see that both series have done the right step to unify. The whole open wheel racing scene is strengthened, and the meaning of Formula BMW Americas is further increased. I am sure we will see a bright future of single-seater racing in both Americas."