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Formula BMW
Favoretto, Rossi win in Montreal
Rounds 3 and 4 of the 2008 Formula BMW Americas Championship saw drivers from eight countries compete in front of the Canadian Grand Prix crowd. With the finish of Round 4 today, the flags of Brazil, Canada and the US had flown over the podium. Ricardo Favoretto and Alexander Rossi each took one win.

Round 3

BMW Junior Ricardo Favoretto (Eurointernational), 19, of Sao Paulo, Brazil took his first career Formula BMW victory in Round 3 of the 2008 Formula BMW Americas Championship today at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. In front of the Canadian Grand Prix crowd, Favoretto, starting from his second career pole position, squeezed past a hometown race inspired Maxime Pelletier (Apex-HBR Racing Team) on the final lap to win the 13-lap contest by a scant .053 seconds. BMW Junior Mikael Grenier, 15, of Stoneham, Quebec, finished third.

BMW Junior Gianmarco Raimondo (Autotecnica), of St. Catherines, Ontario, finished fourth to retain the Overall and Rookie points lead. He set the fastest lap, 1:47.900 minutes, on lap 12. American Alexander Rossi (Eurointernational) rounded out the top-five finishers.

Outside front row starter Daniel Juncadella (Euro Junior Team) fell back to 12th after serving a stop-and-go penalty for jumping the start, but recovered to finish the race in sixth. He was the highest finishing Formula BMW Europe driver in the field.

Following post-race technical inspection Pelletier and Grenier were excluded from the results and all the finishers below them moved up two positions.

The race began after two rain showers dampened the track less than one hour before the start. Favoretto got a good start to lead the 16-car field into turn one. Pelletier, from sixth, and Grenier, from fifth, moved into second and third places on lap two. The race’s only caution period came on lap five after Alexandre Ruiz (Apex-HBR Racing Team) had trouble under braking for turn eight, taking out Ollie Millroy (Atlantic Racing Team) and David Ostella (Eurointernational). After the lap seven restart, Pelletier made a great move in turn one, completing his pass of Favoretto in turn three to take the lead. He held the point until Favoretto was able to squeeze by him in the hairpin on the final lap.

The top-five finishing Rookies in Round 3 were, Raimondo (P4), Vilarinho (P8), Jovanovic (P9), Rahman (P10) and Millroy (P11).

Favoretto, who with yesterday’s win gave the Eurointernational team their 50th victory, said, “It was a nice race in the beginning. I opened a good gap and didn’t allow myself to feel pressure. On the restart, Maxime got by me in turn 2 with a good move. I tried to catch him, but my engine was overheating so I had to compromise the draft. On the last lap I was just able to catch him in the hairpin. I am happy with my first win and tomorrow will promise more good things.”

Round 4

16-year old American Alexander Rossi led a 1-2-3 Eurointernational sweep of the Round 4 Formula BMW Americas podium today at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. In a 14-lap race that saw plenty of action and only nine of 16 cars finish, Rossi finished 5.110 seconds in front of Rookie Giancarlo Vilarinho, of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Rookie David Ostella, of Ontario, finished third. The win was Rossi’s first of the season and fourth Formula BMW victory of his career.

Doru Sechelariu (Autotecnica), of Bacau, Romania, finished fourth and Jorge Goncalvez (Apex-HBR Racing Team), of Los Teques, Venezuela, finished fifth.

Following post-race technical inspection Ostella was excluded from the results and all the finishers below him moved up one position.

The race began with polesitter Gianmarco Raimondo (Autotecnica) getting away cleanly with Rossi in close pursuit. Behind them four cars got together in turn two to bring out the safety car. The green flag waved to begin the second lap with Rossi getting past Raimondo in turn four. Favoretto moved in to second and Pelletier moved into third after Raimondo made contact with the wall. On lap five Favoretto and Rossi made contact with the Brazilian retiring. Rossi held onto a .188 second lead after lap eight with Pelletier charging hard. On lap nine, Pelletier vaulted over Rossi’s left rear tire, damaging his right front suspension and effectively securing the win for the young American.

Rossi said, “I didn’t lose any positions on the start like yesterday and was able to keep the pressure on. I had a great restart from the yellow. Twice I had contact, but my car seemed invincible. The entire team did a great job this weekend and to stand on the top of this podium feels incredible.”

Vilarinho said, “My car was in great condition for today. The best part was to see all the Brazilian flags waving around the circuit and having my family here for my podium finish.”

In Round 4, the top-five Rookies were Vilarinho (P2), Ruiz (P5), Millroy (P6), Jovanovic (P7), Rahman (P8) and Grenier (P10).

Overall points standings following Round 4: Raimondo (56), Rossi (49), Favoretto (37), Vilarinho (34), Goncalvez (34), Ruiz (28), Pelletier (26), Grenier (21), Jovanovic (20), Ostella (6). Rookie points: Raimondo (56), Vilarinho (34), Ruiz (28), Grenier (21), Jovanovic (20), Ostella (6)

Rounds 5 and 6 of the 2008 Formula BMW Americas Championship will be held at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on June 20 – 22.

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