Junior Open Wheel Talent

News and Views on Drivers Chasing Open-Wheel Stardom

Goodbye Formula BMW-Americas

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted August 30, 2009 at 9:56 pm Formula BMW

The Formula BMW-Americas completed their season finale this weekend at Mosport… err, make that “series finale”. A few weeks back, BMW Motorsport made the announcement that they are cutting the Formula BMW-Americas program for 2010.

The 2009 Formula BMW-Americas champion is Gabby Chaves.  Gabby had a tremendous season that saw him capture the crown two weeks ago at Road America.  The 16-year-old Colombian won 5 races this year, but that wasn’t really his key to success.  His fortune was largely a result of consistency.  He averaged a finishing position of 1.71 and completed 100% of his 2009 races inside the top-three.

Giancarlo Vilarinho finished the season in 2nd place.  He was incredibly quick, winning 7 times…. which comes out to 50% of the races this season.  Unfortunately, he had some bad luck to go with those numbers.  He was unable to match Gabby’s consistency.  Vilarinho started from pole position nine times this year.  That number in itself is very impressive.

Giancarlo Raimondo finished the season in third place.  The 18-year-old Canadian was fairly consistent in his own right.  He finished inside the top-five in 78.6% of his 2009 race starts.  His best finish of the year came this weekend at Mosport— where he won Round 13 by 0.855 seconds over Chaves.

The Rookie Champion of 2009 is Michael Lewis.  The fight for the rookie championship came down to the final race as Australian stand-out James Kovacic held the lead heading into the series finale at Mosport.  Ultimately, Lewis came out on top.  Kovacic followed as the runner-up and Alex Ellis was third.  James Kovacic was the only rookie to win a race this season.

2009 Final Standings

  1. Gabby Chaves (235)
  2. Giancarlo Vilarinho (187)
  3. Gianmarco Raimondo (143)
  4. Michael Lewis (111) -Rookie
  5. James Kovacic (103) -Rookie
  6. Alex Ellis (95) -Rookie
  7. Joao Victor Horto (91) -Rookie
  8. Daniel Vela (56) -Rookie
  9. Martin Sala (54) -Rookie
  10. Wilson Philippe (38) -Rookie
  11. Barrett Mertins (19) -Rookie
  12. Freddy Zebede (9) -Rookie
  13. Robert Garcia (3) -Rookie

Further Reading:  Formula BMW Archives

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