GP2

Asia: Bahrain: My Qi-Meritus.Mahara preview

GP2 Asia - My Qi-Meritus.Mahara is all set for round 3 in Bahrain Tuesday January 20, 2009 - Racing in Bahrain is always a great experience and it's a circuit that all drivers enjoy driving. The sand blowing onto the tarmac can be a challenge...

GP2 Asia - My Qi-Meritus.Mahara is all set for round 3 in Bahrain

Tuesday January 20, 2009 - Racing in Bahrain is always a great experience and it's a circuit that all drivers enjoy driving. The sand blowing onto the tarmac can be a challenge for drivers as they never know how the grip levels can change from lap to lap.

Both rookie driver Earl Bamber and newcomer 23 years old Italian hope Marco Bonanomi are ready to resume driving duties for My Qi-Meritus.Mahara for the third round of the season at the Bahrain international circuit BIC on January 23 and 24.

Both drivers will start their Bahrain weekend early with a press conference at the Bahrain press club on Wednesday. The Bahrain round is an important event for My Qi-Meritus.Mahara, the only team with strong Middle East links through its Saudi partner, Raad S. Abduljawad, which has led to My Qi-Meritus.Mahara becoming Arab motorsport ambassadors.

Marco Bonanomi commented, "It has been almost two months since I last drove a car, since my last tests with an Indy Light team on the Kentucky Oval. I hope it won't be too difficult in first practice. I naturally feel rusty as a result of this hiatus. I have never driven on a track like this one, but the fact that it welcomes highly competitive series and F1 is a good sign. It is nice and wide with lots of overtaking opportunities. It will be a very challenging weekend. I am looking forward to this third race of the season which also will be my first race with My Qi-Meritus.Mahara. I need to get to know the team, the car, and the way they work. I already met Earl in Italy when he came to work on the simulator, and we got along well. It will be easy to continue a well started relationship."

Earl Bamber commented, "A relatively long period of time has passed since our last wet race in Dubai. I used it for relaxing but also for preparation time on the simulator. I have been racing on the track of course but it was only the small circuit in the BMW Formula finale. I have a good idea of what we will find after my sessions on the computer simulator. There are some good fast flowing sections where you can really push the car through the two chicanes at turns four and five and later through the quick left and right at turns nine and ten. There are also several overtaking opportunities, particularly at turn one after the long straight, where you can make up crucial ground when other drivers tend to brake surprisingly early.

Confidence with braking is the key to a quick lap around Bahrain. You need to believe in the car's performance and have no doubts that you can stop effectively. The most challenging sector is probably turn fourteen which has a very quick approach where you brake as you turn into the corner, so you have to be careful not to lock the inside front wheel. I am focused on strong results and scoring points to improve my position in the classification. We need good results for the team for this next round."

Raad S. Abduljawad, Team Chairman, My Qi-Meritus.Mahara commented, "It's good to be back for a home race. The race is the halfway point for the season. It will be important to get as many points as possible in order to keep a good place in the Championship. Both drivers will work on it!"

Peter Thompson, president and team founder, My Qi-Meritus.Mahara: "We are determined to start the New Year with a strong result at Bahrain. The team needs to score more with the both drivers in the points at the third round of the season, a very important one for our partners."

-credit: meritusracing.com

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Marco Bonanomi , Earl Bamber