Junior Open Wheel Talent

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Formula BMW Americas Junior Scholarships

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted October 14, 2008 at 4:06 pm Formula BMW

Formula BMW Americas released the names of three Junior Scholarship winners today , the drivers will receive $80,000 along with enrollment into the Formula BMW Education and Coaching Program, which aides driver development both on and off the track. A fourth scholarship will be awarded to this year’s Rookie Champion (top rookie driver in the season ending points tally).

The three scholarship winners are Daniel Vela, Roberto Garcia, and Alexander Ellis.

Daniel Vela, who is the youngest of the group, was born in the Dominican Republic but currently resides in Miami, Florida. His racing experience centers around karting, where he has been competing internationally, driving for CRG. The 14 year old spent a season running with the Stars of Karting Cadet division before running full time in the KF3 class. Last winter he decided to join the Florida Winter Tour with PSL Karting, driving in the highly competitive JICA class.

Alex Ellis of Canada has only been racing for three years, but he has diversified his efforts quite nicely. The 17 year old joined the Canadian National Team for karting in 2007, focusing on his Rotax efforts in both the SRFKC and the Florida Winter Tour. Earlier this year he signed with TLM Racing to compete in a Formula Vee race car, in which he won his very first race. He finished the season in second place overall, before completing his Formula BMW Licensing course in August.

I wasn’t able to find as much information on 17 year old Roberto Garcia of Houston, Texas. There is a Robert Garcia from Houston who has run four races in the Rolex Sports Car Series with Alegra Motorsports in a Porsche GT3 and owns a company called Truck Nation. Something tells me this might be a different Robert Garcia, possibly Roberto’s father?? Anyone with additional info, please add to the comment section below.

Congrats to all three drivers on a great achievement. Best of luck in 2009.

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3 Comments

  1. John Michael Olive on October 18, 2008 1:33 am

    My cousin is Roberto Garcia. I did a random google search on my cousin after I heard of his scholarship award. I figured I would let you know a little about him. His father, also named Robert (Big Robert), owns Truck Nation, and races as well. My cousin started racing indy cars about a year ago. He would text me every now and then telling me about his races. After consecutive wins, you could tell that he was born to race. I am happy to say that my younger cousin is on his way up. I remember a couple of weeks ago he told me he was going to Spain to race for the scholarship. Just a couple of days ago he told me to check out the BMWFORMULAUSA website; I had no idea he was already awarded the scholarship. He is currently attending high school. I am not sure if he wants to pursue racing as a career or not but he has big plans for his future, and the scholarship will help. Who knows, maybe once I graduate from auto school he can make me a mechanic on his race team.

  2. JOWT on October 18, 2008 2:34 am

    John, thanks for the additional insight and congratulations to Roberto on winning the scholarship.

  3. Robert on October 23, 2008 10:09 pm

    Hi John Michael,
    Yes this is “big ROb”….For everyones info…I race HSR events and own a 1998 Benetton F1 car, a 2002 Irl Indy car, a 1999 WSC Riley and Scott. All I run in vintage events. Professionally I am affiliated with Carlos DeQuesada in Alegra Motorsports. We own and race several 997 GT3 cars, and Riley DP cars….My son Robert is a very talented driver that with seat time can become an excellent driver. Good luck to him and hopefully we will be able to start a Formula BMW team for him….see ya!

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