WITH FORMULA BMW DEBUTRising British motor racing star Alexander Sims has confirmed he will make his maiden appearance at the Guia street circuit in Macau just under a fortnight from now, 15th/16th November, when he debuts in the Pacific Formula BMW support race as part of the Windsor Arch 55th Macau Grand Prix weekend.With the end of year Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix held in huge regard throughout the motorsport firmament, the plan is for Alexander to learn the track at the wheel of a Meritus-run Formula BMW during the support race of the 2008 event with a view to then returning to Macau in the headline invitational F3 race a year from now.Graduating to Formula Renault UK directly from karting at the end of 2006, the Ocean Spray backed racer has never experienced a Formula BMW single-seater before. Although the car is less sophisticated than those he has been used to for the past couple of seasons, the Macau event will still be a huge challenge.“We travel to Malaysia for a two-day test in the car at the Sepang Formula One track at the start of next week and then we head over to Macau”, explained the Wansford based ace, “I have never driven a Formula BMW before so that will be a new experience for me but I’m confident we should be up to speed pretty quickly.“The only reason we’re doing the BMW support race is to gain experience of the Macau circuit ahead of a return next year for the Formula 3 race. Macau is an isolated place in the sense there are so few opportunities to run there so this chance is an important one for us to take.”Having recently completed only his second full season of car racing action, Sims has enjoyed a truly sensational year. Becoming Formula Renault UK Vice-Champion, scoring more points than any other driver and only missing out on the title by virtue of the category’s drop-score ruling, he also took two race wins and 12 podiums.Away from the track, he has received a raft of glittering accolades in recognition of his performances. Invited onto the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star programme, Alexander was also named as one of the Motor Sports Association (MSA) Race Elite drivers.More recently, he also earned a place as a finalist in this year’s prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award. Should he emerge successful, the 20-year-old will win £50,000, a test at the wheel of an Aston Martin GT1 sportscar and, the most mouth-watering prospect, a Formula One test with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.Returning to his first ever run in a Formula BMW car, following next week’s two-day outing at Sepang in Malaysia he will then take his maiden miles on the Macau street circuit at 13.10 (local time) on Thursday, 13th November. Qualifying will take place at 16.30 on Saturday, 15th November, while the 10 lap race will get underway at 09.10 on Sunday, 16th November.“I need to learn the car as quickly as possible at Sepang because testing at Macau ahead of qualifying is very limited – we only get one 30 minute session on the Thursday so with laps in a Formula BMW at Macau thought to be around the 2 minute 40 second mark, we’ll only have time for about eight practice laps at best!”, he added.
“It’s going to be a great experience though and I’m really looking forward to it. We’re going out there to do as well as we can and hopefully we’ll have a good result. The main aim is to learn as much as possible about the track though, that will be crucial for next year if we’re able to return to Macau in Formula 3.”