Date posted on October 2, 2009 · Published by Mark Goddard
Driver Release: Australian Formula BMW Junior, Chris Wootton has ended the spectacular Formula 1 Singtel Singapore Grand Prix support event with two solid finishes, in sixth and eighth places respectively.
With plenty of guest drivers being attracted by the lure of impressing the Formula 1 fraternity, it was important that the regular Formula BMW Pacific drivers kept their eyes on the overall Championship point score (as guest drivers don’t score points).
From this point of view, Wootton managed to secure a good haul of points – third and fourth place points respectively. Importantly, he managed to finish the two races without incident or damage to his Formula BMW FB02.
A disastrous qualifying session saw the youngster qualify in 11th placing for both races – his engine cover coming loose midway through the session, which cost him the chance to chase down pole position. His best two laps (which determined the grid for races one and two respectively) were both the 11th quickest laps of the field.
This compromised the overall result, however with the action that unfolded (including two rollovers in race one!) to have the car come home unscathed was a feat in itself.
Race one, Chris was lucky to avoid Fahmi Ilyas, who was making his way through the field and almost collided with the Australian and then on the final lap, Wootton got past his Eurasia Motorsport team-mate, Axcil Jefferies, who had tagged the wall and subsequently collided with Cao Hong Wei, which pitched the Zimbabwean into a violent roll.
The second event was a reasonably lonely affair for the Aussie, a late race Safety Car to clear debris from the track assisted in tightening the field up, but for most of the race, he was on his own.
With just three races to go, Chris has his eyes firmly on finishing 2009’s Formula BMW Pacific in the top five, which is now in reach after poor rounds by several drivers surrounding him in the Driver’s Classification.
The 20-year-old from Brisbane had a busy week visiting sponsors, including First Automobile, Fraser Place and the One 15 Degree Marina and took time out to meet with a group of disadvantaged youth that were visiting the Formula 1 Singtel Singapore Grand Prix. Through being a Formula BMW Junior, Chris also had the opportunity to tour the Formula 1 paddock and meet with the BMW Sauber F1 Team drivers.
The next event for Formula BMW Pacific will be staged in support to the World Touring Car Championship round at Okayama in Japan, October 30 to November 1.
BEHIND THE HELMET: CHRIS WOOTTON
“It’s fantastic to say that we have had a weekend here with no damage – there are lots of other drivers that would like to say the same!
“We wanted to score some solid points today and given the guest drivers are taken out the Championship points, to score points for third and fourth places is great. It gives us the opportunity to fight for a top five finish overall, which would be superb.
“The racing here was so tough, it’s extremely hot and humid generally, let alone sitting in the cockpit of the racecar with a race suit and helmet.
“There was plenty of action throughout the weekend and it would have been fabulous for the spectators.
“Qualifying was very disappointing, but its behind me now. You just have to make do with what you’ve got and I come away with some decent points, so I’m happy.
“I love it here in Singapre, it was great fun and to race on a track like this is just awesome. The Formula 1 drivers love the track and so do I. It’s a real challenge of high speed, with a concrete canyon and some awesome corners.
“The next round at Okayama will be interesting. It’s good there are only a few weeks between events so I can get back in the car and go racing!”