Dixon, Sakurai earn 2010 Formula BMW Pacific Junior scholarships.

09.10.2009: Formula BMW Pacific has announced its 2010 scholarship winners; 17-year-old Australian Jesse Dixon, and Kotaro Sakurai, 15, of Japan. The scholarship includes a Euro Ä50,000 contribution towards the 2010 Formula

Formula BMW Pacific.

Formula BMW Pacific has announced its 2010 scholarship winners; 17-year-old Australian Jesse Dixon, and Kotaro Sakurai, 15, of Japan.  The scholarship includes a Euro €50,000 contribution towards the 2010 Formula BMW Pacific season, and enrollment in the Education and Coaching Programme, a comprehensive training course unique in the region.


Jordan Oon,19, of Australia, Thailand’s Sandy Stuvik, and South African Caleb Williams have been named as reserves, should either Dixon or Sakurai be unable to take up their scholarships.

The annual Scholarship Trials offer young talent professional training and a thorough driver assessment from a team of BMW Motorsport professionals. The drivers judged to have the most potential for an international motorsport career, as well as the motivation to work hard and succeed, are then offered a coveted Formula BMW Pacific scholarship.

The 2010 Scholarship Trials were held from September 1-2, 2009 at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.  The talented crop of young drivers spent the two-day session experiencing the FB02 race car and receiving sporting and technical instruction in what, for many, was their first experience of single seater motorsport.

Dixon, from Queensland, Australia, began karting five years ago.  He shared a passion for motorsport with his late father, and used his inheritance to embark upon a motorsport career.  The first three years were challenging, but saw Dixon learn not only how to race a kart, but how work with engines and understand how to find the optimum set-up.   He admits it was not easy to be at tracks on his own, but believes the experience made him a better driver, and gave him even greater determination to succeed.  Sure enough, Dixon graduated to single-seaters, first with Formula Ford and now, in 2010, with Formula BMW Pacific.

Sakurai becomes just the third Japanese Formula BMW Pacific Junior after Ryo Nakano and Shohei Shiromoto were awarded scholarships in 2003 and 2007, respectively.  With Ryuichi Nara becoming the first Japanese driver to win a round of Formula BMW Pacific in 2008, Sakurai now has the opportunity to also fly the flag for young Japanese talent. 

The Tokyo native had his first taste of single-seaters when he competed in four rounds of China’s Formula West series, finishing as high as fifth. 

While five graduates of Formula BMW in Europe, where the formula has been established for longer than in Asia-Pacific, are already competing in Formula One, alumni and Juniors from this region are busy working their way up the career ladder of international motorsport.

One such driver is 2006 Formula BMW Asia Junior Daniel Ricciardo, who immediately impressed during the Scholarship Trials that year.  Ricciardo went on to complete a successful rookie season, and finished fifth in the end-of-season Formula BMW World Final, beating many competitors from Europe and the Americas.  Now, just three years later, the Australian has won the British Formula 3 Championship, and many believe he is set for future stardom.


- Nikki Kemp,  -

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09.10.2009 / MaP

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