Rising British star Jack Harvey took victory in the last ever round of the Formula BMW Europe at Monza, but it wasn't enough to take the title, with Robin Frijns pipping him to the crown after a season long battle. After his win in the penultimate round, Frijns headed into the race needing to finish just eighth or higher to secure the crown and did so comfortably with a third place finish, to win the third and final Formula BMW Europe Championship.
Harvey began the race on pole, his eighth of the season, but an average start saw Luciano Bacheta get the better of him as they headed towards the first chicane, but Harvey got back past at the corner, before quickly setting about pulling away at the front.
It proved to be an action packed final race, with Harvey's Fortec team mate Christof von GrÃ¼nigen the first in the wars, going into an early retirement after hitting the barriers on the first lap. Battles soon emerged throughout the order, with Carlos Sainz Jr making an early move through the field, gaining three positions on the opening lap to get into eighth. Ahead, George Katsinis and Marc Coleselli were battling hard until contact between the two on lap five saw both sustain damage. Katsinis' race was over, while Coleselli was able to limp back to the pits.
At the front, Harvey was pulling away, with the group behind of Daniil Kvyat, Bacheta, Sainz and Frijns separated by just under a second. Running so closely, it seemed like just a matter of time before there was contact within the group, with it happening on lap nine. A clash of wheels between Bacheta and Sainz unsettled the pair, with Frijns forced to go over the gravel in avoidance. This allowed Kvyat to build a gap in second, with Bacheta recovering to remain in third, ahead of Frijns. As the race headed towards its conclusion, Frijns moved past Bacheta for third on the penultimate lap.
At the front, Harvey was streaking into the distance and crossed the line for the win, in the process recording his thirteenth podium finish in the sixteen round season. Rookie driver Kvyat came home in a superb second place, his first ever podium in the series. Frijns completed the podium, with Bacheta, Hannes van Asseldonk and Sainz completing the top six.
Frijns third place was enough to see him crowned the 2010 Formula BMW Europe Champion, the last ever champion of the series, following on previous champions, Mexican Esteban GutiÃ©rrez and Brazilian Felipe Nasr. Harvey ended up just 11 points back in second, despite winning seven races in his debut car racing season, the most of any driver. Frijns’ team, Josef Kauffman Racing, also picked up the teams trophy ahead of Harvey's Fortec Motorsport.