Rossi races to third
An intense schedule of two races in the space of just three hours meant that Alexander Rossi ran the whole gamut of emotions in little more than 180 minutes.
During Round 7 of the Formula BMWUSA championship at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn., Rossi was reeling in third position when the car behind made a move which resulted in him driving over the top of Rossi’s car at 100 miles per hour Ð narrowly missing the 15-year-old’s head in the process, and leading to Rossi finishing 16th.
“It happened all very quickly Ð I just wanted it over with,” said Rossi. “I felt a pretty big hit then I saw a tire and the underside of a car so I figured ‘this isn’t good’… but you know sometimes that’s life and you’ve just got to bounce back from that and go racing.”
And that’s just what he did. Seventh on the opening lap of Round 8, Rossi’s raced for 25 laps before going wheel-to-wheel with a new teammate. The pair neck-and-neck around the last lap.
“It was so close Ð we touched front wheels at the line,” said Ross, although the official timing gave an even closer verdict: Rossi and teammate crossed the line at exactly the same moment down to the closest thousandth of a second. Officials gave Rossi the nod, so third place Ð and the podium Ð was his.
“I’m just so happy to do this for the team.” Rossi said. “We got a three-four finish. The team have worked so hard and been fantastic for this, my first race with them, and we’re in the fight for the championship again.”
Rossi’s third place in the title race makes him the highest placed American in the series, and he has greatly closed in on second place. The Nevada City native now goes to his “home” race at San Jose on July 28-29.
Earlier this month, Rossi joined Team Apex Racing for the latter half of the 2007 Formula BMWUSA championship.
Rossi had driven with the Hearn Motorsports outfit in the opening six rounds of the series, tasting success with a podium finish and setting a new track record at Miller Motorsports Park. He currently lays third in the championship points standings.
“Basically a seat became available at Apex, and at the same time Richie (Hearn) was approached to run a new driver in the series.” Pieter Rossi, said Team Rossi Motorsports principal. “Everything seemed to fall into place very neatly.”
“Everything is amicable,” said Hearn. “We have to consider our interests further down the line, as does Alexander, and the way opportunities came up, it was best to move on earlier rather than later.”
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Following a one-year hiatus, the STIHL National Championship Air Races and Show is now underway at Reno-Stead Airport.