OLLIE PRODUCES THE ‘PERFECT’ WIN IN SHANGHAI
BMW junior development driver Ollie Millroy again showed the form that earned him a coveted BMW Europe scholarship in Valencia last year, when he took a superb win for himself and Kent based race team Motaworld Racing, at the Shanghai International Circuit. The Claygate teenager travelled to China with the team on Tuesday, to race as a guest driver in the Formula BMW Pacific Championship, alongside the penultimate round of the Formula 1 World Championship and on his arrival declared the circuit ‘awesome’.
Ollie’s weekend began on Friday morning with 20 minute free practice and only a ten minute break before the 20 minute qualifying session. “This is very unusual and made the team’s job pretty difficult,” said Ollie. “None of us had ever been here before and we didn’t have any time between free practice and qualifying to check the data or change the setup of the car. Although the car wasn’t handling as we would have liked it to, the team did what they could under the circumstances and I qualified P3 for both races”.
In an action packed 10 lap race on Saturday, Ollie made what has become his usual good start and moved up to second place, with a great move around the outside of Simon Moss at the first corner, a position he held for the remainder of the lap. With another great move on champion elect Ross Jamison on lap two, Ollie took the lead but as the race progressed and the track started to gain more grip, the setup of the car came into play and Ollie lost back two places to Moss and Atlantic Racing Team driver Gabby Chaves, dropping him back to third. He managed to maintain this position until the last lap when a charging Ross Jamison made a move up the inside, dropping Ollie back to fourth place at the flag.
“We struggled quite a bit in race one with under-steer and too much front wing, which caused a slight lack of pace down the long straight, but considering the fact that we had never been here before and our lack of laps and data, we managed to get the car home in a respectable fourth position. The race enabled us to collect a lot of data on how the car was handling and this led to the team spending a long day working on the setup for Sunday.”
The teams effort resulted in a big improvement in the cars handling on Sunday and a very impressive performance from the British MSA Race Elite Academy driver in race two saw the youngster immediately take the lead with a brilliant move around the outside of Moss and Jamison at the first corner and maintain it for the duration of the 10 lap race, to the chequered flag.
“Race two was near perfect,” said Ollie. “The team got the car spot on and I made sure that I made a good start which allowed me to overtake Moss and Jamison at the first corner. Once that part of the job was done and I had pulled a gap, I only pushed as hard as I needed to maintain the lead and make sure I did enough to control the pace for the remainder of the race. Everyone at Motaworld did a fantastic job again this weekend and I am looking forward to being back out with them again at Macau in November, when hopefully we will do it all again.”
Team Boss Alan Waite said: “Ollie did a fantastic job this weekend and didn’t put a foot wrong. The team had never been here before but once we got the right setup there was no stopping him. I think Ollie and the team felt that they had something to prove before the end of the year and we are certainly doing that. We are all over the moon with our performance at the moment and looking forward to our next race in Macau next month”.
Ollie will head out to Brazil next week for his next race with Atlantic Racing Team (ART) in the Formula BMW Americas series, support race to the final round of the Formula 1 World Championship at Sao Paulo on 1st/2nd November.