BMW has announced it is canceling the Formula BMW Americas series, as part of a restructuring of its worldwide single-seater training formula. The Formula BMW Europe and Formula BMW Pacific series, which have attracted stronger fields, will continue.
“In the current economic conditions, it has proven difficult to establish the young driver program as successfully on American soil as managed by its sister series in their respective regions,” BMW said in a statement announcing the decision. “Taken in combination with the – by comparison with Europe and Asia – vastly different motorsport infrastructures prevailing in the Americas, this led to the decision to cease promoting the series in future.
BMW noted that it will make good on its promise of an F1 test for 2008 Americas and European series champions Alexander Rossi and Esteban Gutierrez.
American Rossi, now racing in International Formula Master, earned his chance to drive F1 machinery after winning the Formula BMW World Final last year, while Mexico's Gutierrez won the Formula BMW Europe title last season after starring in the North American series the year before, and is now racing for ART Grand Prix in the F3 Euro Series.
"Despite having announced our exit from Formula 1 this week, we will honour our commitments to young drivers in Formula BMW," said BMW Motorsport director Mario Theissen. "Thus we are looking forward to granting another two Formula BMW graduates the opportunity of gathering experience in a Formula 1 car."