FBMW : Sepang Round 5 summary
2006-09-15 487

Bamber unbeatable in Malaysia.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- Fifteen-year-old sensation Earl Bamber (NZL/Team Meritus) proved unbeatable in Malaysia this weekend, winning his third race in a row with victory in Round 5 of Formula BMW Asia. The Kiwi Rookie didn't put a wheel wrong throughout the 10-lap race, crossing the line with a comfortable margin of more than four seconds from 2nd place finisher, Sam Abay (AUS/Team E-Rain). Third was BMW Junior Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Eurasia Motorsport) scoring his first podium of the season.

Second BMW Junior finisher was Dominic Storey (NZL/Eurasia Motorsport), who finished 5th overall, followed by James Grunwell (THA/Team Meritus) who, having started 2nd on the grid eventually finished 6th after a disappointing outing.

Bamber's win gives him an 18 point lead at the top of the Championship standings ahead of Abay, who moves into second place seven points in front of Grunwell. In the Rookie Cup Classification, Bamber is currently 23 points ahead of Grunwell, with Ricciardo 3rd.

Off the grid, Bamber got away well once again from pole, while Ricciardo was on a charge and up to 3rd from 5th on the grid by the second lap behind Abay and ahead of Storey and Grunwell. Disaster struck for Grunwell on lap five however when a spin put him down to 7th behind Malaysian hope Aaron Lim (Eurasia Motorsport). Zahir Ali (INA/Eurasia Motorsport) meanwhile had been closing in on Storey and finally made his move into 4th on the fifth lap. Although he had insufficient time to close the gap to Ricciardo, he set the fastest lap of the race and it is only a matter of time before the Indonesian takes his first podium finish.

Said Ricciardo: "I got a good start and it was very tight into the first two turns. I dropped to 5th after there was a bit of contact and stayed there for that lap. I passed Dominic and James at the same time and then tried to catch Sam, but his pace was very good. I focussed on what was going on in front and not the guys behind me."

Rounds 6, 7 and 8 of Formula BMW Asia will be held at Beijing's Goldenport from June 9 to 11.