25 Formula BMW Americas drivers off to Valencia
Formula BMW Americas welcomes 25 young drivers as they prepare for the upcoming July 28-29 and August 4-5 2009 Licensing Courses. Held at the Formula BMW Racing Center at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo, in Valencia, Spain, the Licensing Course is the first step the worldwide Formula BMW program. Following two days of intensive instruction by the Formula BMW Racing Center staff, successful drivers will receive their international Class C license and, possibly, a chance to be invited back to compete in the September 29-30 Scholarship Qualifying to compete for a 2009 Formula BMW Junior scholarship.
This year, Formula BMW Americas awarded $80,000 scholarships and automatic enrollment in Formula BMW's Education and Coaching program to Canadians Gianmarco Raimondo and Mikael Grenier, and Brazilian Alexandre Ruiz. They currently stand first, third and fourth in the Rookie point standings respectively.
Proving the global reach of Formula BMW, the 25 young drivers represent the most diverse group ever entered for the licensing courses in the five-year history of the Formula BMW Americas Championship. This year drivers from Australia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Jamaica, South Africa, Venezuela, as well as Brazil, Canada and the United States will attend.
Among the talented participants is Daniel Vela, of the Dominican Republic, winner of the Florida Winter Tour promotion in January. Also attending is Spencer Pigot, of Windermere Florida, who took advantage of Formula BMW Americas' unique Stars of Karting Recruitment Day and got behind the wheel of an FB02 at Miller Motorsports Park in April.
With the completion of Rounds 8 and 9 at Lime Rock Park on July 12th, the 2008 Formula BMW Americas Championship has passed the mid-season mark. Alexander Rossi leads the Overall standings by 19 points over Formula BMW Junior Ricardo Favoretto. Gianmarco Raimondo, also a Formula BMW Junior, stands third and leads the Rookie standings. Rossi has scored four wins, Favoretto one, and Raimondo two. One more win was scored by Daniel Juncadella, a guest driver form the Formula BMW Europe series, in Round 8. Round 7 was cancelled.
With strong performances in the last three races, that include two podium finishes, Brazilian Giancarlo Vilarinho has moved to second in Rookie points. He is followed by Grenier and Ruiz. Ostella rounds out the top five in the Rookie standings.
Eurointernational teammates Rossi and Favoretto have kept the Indianapolis- based Formula BMW powerhouse at the top of the Team standings. Eurointernational won the Team title in both 2006 and 2007 while running Robert Wickens and Daniel Morad to the Driver Championships.
The Championship will hold two official test days at the 1.8-mile Putnam Park Road Course, in Mount Meridian, Indiana on July 29 - 30 before Rounds 10, 11 and 12 at Road America, in Elkhart, Wis., on August 7 - 10.
Overall points standings following 9 of 17 Rounds:
1. Rossi 122
2. Favoretto 103
3. Raimondo 87
4. Pelletier 67
5. Vilarinho 54
6. Grenier 53
7. Ruiz 50
8. Goncalvez 48
9. Ostella 29
10. Jovanovic 20
1. Raimondo 87
2. Vilarinho 54
3. Grenier 53
4. Ruiz 50
5. Ostella 29
6. Jovanovic 20
1. Eurointernational 244
2. Apex-HBR Racing Team 153
3. Autotecnica 86
4. Jensen Motorsport 20