RLR adds Formula BMW to ALMS GT2 BMW M3 program
Beginning on January 1st, 2009, Rahal Letterman Racing will assume the management of Formula BMW Americas. The move means that a single team will both partner with BMW of North America in the American Le Mans Series – with its two BMW M3 racers – and oversee the Formula BMW series in America. Most of the management functions and key individuals in the 2008 organizational structure shall remain in place.
“We are pleased to have found in Rahal Letterman Racing a professional, well integrated partner with great experience in US motor sport,” commented BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen. “The Formula BMW races held in support of the ALMS will generate synergy effects in terms of PR, marketing and logistics. Lapwing Management already set the bar high last year as far as the organization of the series is concerned, and we thank them warmly for their work. The concept is also proving a success from a sporting perspective, as demonstrated not least by Alexander Rossi. The U.S. driver recently backed up his Formula BMW Americas title triumph with victory in the Formula BMW World Final. We are hoping that the expansion of the race calendar into Mexico as part of the World Touring Car Championship event there will further increase interest from all the Americas in the line-up for 2009.”
Rahal Letterman Racing co-owner and US racing legend Bobby Rahal said: “Formula BMW has long produced one of the finest entry-level open-wheel racing series in the world, and Rahal Letterman Racing is proud and excited about forging this new partnership with the series. We saw first-hand when my son Graham competed in the series that Formula BMW offers the complete package for the young driver, providing an affordable series with a level playing field that still exposes the drivers and teams to high-profile events and challenging circuits. When you add those benefits to the proven stewardship and support of BMW Motorsport, Formula BMW is easily the best choice for the young drivers that aspire to the higher levels of the sport.”
The victory of Rossi in this year’s Formula BMW World Final in Mexico City represents the first time in the history of Formula BMW that a Formula BMW Americas champion has also won the annual showpiece of the Formula BMW season. Rossi’s success earned him a test in a BMW Sauber F1 Team car. A season review of the 2008 Formula BMW Americas championship is scheduled to be broadcast on Speed TV on Dec. 28th, 6:00 pm ET.
2009 Formula BMW Americas schedule:
March 20-22 Puebla, Mexico, with WTCC
May 15-17 Miller Motorsports Park with ALMS
July 17-18 Lime Rock Park with ALMS
Aug. 14-16 Road America with ALMS
Aug. 28-30 Mosport International Raceway, Canada, with ALMS
Oct. 16-18 Brazilian Grand Prix, Brazil, with F1