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Formula BMW
Rossi continues domination for Formula BMW
Alexander Rossi (USA)
Unchallenged in practice, qualifying or today, 2008 Formula BMW Americas champion Alexander Rossi (Eurointernational) took the Round 16 victory in front of the Brazilian Grand Prix crowd. Starting from pole, Rossi led all 14 laps around the 2.677-mile Interlagos circuit, setting a race record on lap 12 (1:40.842 minutes), to hold off Formula BMW Europe driver Daniel Juncadella (Eurointernational) by 2.078 seconds at the checkered flag. Rookie and Formula BMW Junior Mikael Grenier (Apex-HBR Racing Team) finished third to take over the lead in Rookie points for the first time this season.

Daniel Juncadella
Grenier now leads fellow Formula BMW Junior Gianmarco Raimondo (Autotecnica), who finished sixth, by two points. Brazilian Giancarlo Vilarinho (Eurointernational) finished fourth to move to third in Rookie points. Formula BMW Junior Alexandre Ruiz (Apex-HBR Racing Team), also from Brazil, finished ninth, falling to fourth in the standings. With only 12 points between them, these four young men will decide the 2008 Rookie Championship in tomorrow's final race of the season.

Another notable Rookie performance was put in by Luis Felipe Nasr (Amir Nasr Racing). Starting third, the young Brazilian finished fifth in his very first Formula BMW start.

The race began after a slight delay for track repairs. Under threatening late afternoon skies all 13 cars got off to a clean start with Juncadella taking the fight to Rossi in the early laps. The Spaniard dropped a wheel, fell back and consolidated his hold on second place. Grenier, charging from the seventh starting spot, reached third by the third lap. Behind them it remained Vilarinho, Nasr, Raimondo and Toledano. Ollie Millroy went off in the late stages of the race, but was able to hold on to eighth. Ruiz, after a fine battle with Ostella, finished ninth after Ostella fell out with mechanical problems. Favoretto, coming from the rear of the field had contact with Foresti. Foresti, in his first Formula BMW start, finished tenth. Favoretto, who realized a 30 second penalty for the contact with Foresti, finished eleventh.

Rossi said, "It was a fantastic win! My main goal was to go out there and maintain the lead over Daniel. Midway in the race the pressure was there from him and I knew I had a little more in the car. I was timid in the first few laps with the cooler temperatures, and fortunately the mistakes I made were not big enough for him to capitalize.  When I saw he was closing again, I pushed forward and never looked back. It is a great way to start the weekend."

Juncadella said, "It was a nice race, a normal start, but it was slippery on the inside. I tried to push as hard as possible to close the gap with Alexander. I did a mistake and lost one-half second and he had a nice gap and I couldn't close it to the end.  Tomorrow I hope for a better start and pass him then, if not I will put a lot of pressure and I can win."

Grenier said, “It was a hard race because I was starting seventh. I had two really good laps at the beginning and I took third place and I stayed on track to keep my place. Now that I am leading the Rookie Points, I don't expect to podium, but just to finish in front of Gianmarco to win the Rookie championship and come back next year."

The 2008 Formula BMW Americas Championship will conclude with Round 17 tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.

Race - Round 16 - 14 laps


Alexander Rossi Eurointernational 23:43.448
2 Daniel Juncadella Eurointernational 23:45.526
3 Mikael Grenier (J, R) Apex-HBR Racing Team 23:55.066
4 Giancarlo Vilarinho (R) Eurointernational 23:56.087
5 Luis Felipe Nasr (R) Amir Nasr Racing 23:57.261
6 Gianmarco Raimondo (J, R) Autotecnica 24:02.683
7 Alfonso Toledano Euro Junior Team 24:09.799
8 Ollie Millroy (J) Atlantic Racing Team 24:14.559
9 Alexandre Ruiz (J, R) Apex-HBR Racing Team 24:22.235
10 Lucas Foresti (R) Amir Nasr Racing 24:22.845
11 Ricardo Favoretto (J) Autotecnica 24:31.872
12 David Ostella (R) Eurointernational 21:11.439 (-2L)
13 Jorge Goncalvez Apex-HBR Racing Team not running

J = Formula BMW Junior
R = Rookie

Overall points standings following 16 of 17 Rounds:

1. Rossi 228
2. Favoretto 141
3. Grenier 126
4. Raimondo 124
5. Vilarinho 116
6. Ruiz 114
7. Goncalvez 88
8. Pelletier 77
9. Ostella 58
10. Jovanovic 20
11. Toledano 11
12. Nasr 10
11. Dalenberg 4
12. Foresti 3

Rookie points:

1. Grenier 126
2. Raimondo 124
3. Vilarinho 116
4. Ruiz 114
5. Ostella 58
6. Jovanovic 20

Team Points:

1. Eurointernational 415
2. Apex-HBR Racing Team 298
3. Autotecnica 161
4. Jensen Motorsport 24
5. Amir Nasr Racing 13

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