Asia: Dubai: Qi-Meritus.Mahara race one report

Qi-Meritus.Mahara take 7 point in first race of GP2 Asian series First practice Luca FILIPPI -- 13th -- 1.23.556 Hiroki YOSHIMOTO -- 16th -- 1.23.894 Qualifying Luca FILIPPI - 6th -- 1.22.187 Hiroki YOSHIMOTO -- 8th -- 1.22.469 Race (42 ...

Qi-Meritus.Mahara take 7 point in first race of GP2 Asian series

First practice
Luca FILIPPI -- 13th -- 1.23.556
Hiroki YOSHIMOTO -- 16th -- 1.23.894

Luca FILIPPI - 6th -- 1.22.187
Hiroki YOSHIMOTO -- 8th -- 1.22.469

Race (42 laps)
5th place (4 pts) Luca FILIPPI -- 1.23.767
6th place (3 pts) Hiroki YOSHIMOTO -- 1.24.431

The inaugural round of the newly born GP2 Asia series started well for Qi-Meritus.Mahara with seven points in a strong finish in fifth and sixth places today for Luca Filippi and Hiroki Yoshimoto respectively at the Dubai Autodrome for the first of the two races this weekend.

Both drivers had a busy morning, with Luca FILIPPI off the track in the twentieth minute of the short thirty minute morning practice session while his team-mate Hiroki YOSHIMOTO was sixteenth fastest with a time of 1.23.894 after ten laps of a short twenty minute session.

In qualifying, Luca FILIPPI clocked a sixth fastest time -- 1.22.187 that brought him in sixth place on the grid. Meanwhile Hiroki YOSHIMOTO finished qualifying in eighth place 1.22.469 for the start of race 1.

It was a good start for the race for both drivers and Filippi ran in third position at the end of the first lap, before stabilizing in 4th. Hiroki YOSHIMOTO opted for an early pit stop refuel on lap 5 to rejoin the race on lap 14. On lap 17, Filippi was in the lead of the race laping in 1.24.720 before stopping for a later pit stop on lap 20 that went very smooth.

Luca FILIPPI (car No 27): "I had a good start and pushed strongly in the first laps. I went for a late pit stop on lap 20. The car was working well in 1.23.770. With the team, we have done a good job preparing the races. I qualified 6th this morning. I was on a very quick lap in the qualifying session, but I had to lift as I was blocked by a back marker, moving slower and was in the middle of the track. The main thing is that we established that the car is quick for the races. I was sliding a bit. It is a good start, but we did not have enough time to work in the morning session as I went off in the first session and that disrupted the day's program and timing, but we now have the rhythm around the car. A shame we did not use the full running time in the session".

Hiroki YOSHIMOTO (car No 26) "After a good start, I had a strong race and I am proud to have a two team-finish in the points for our first ever race. This made me forget the first morning trouble. I could not improve my qualifying times in the last minutes as my car could not get back to the pits after I had lost the rear end in the third corner just like my team mate in the first session. I tried to correct it but continued to spin and slightly damaged the nose of the car. Honestly the potential is there. Our young team needed this good start for our first race. I am very happy!"

Raad S. ABDULJAWAD, Team Chairman Qi-Meritus.Mahara --"To finish in the points with two cars for the first race is a really good exploit considering that we are a new team and that everyone is working together for the first time. The machine is starting to run smooth and this is very encouraging. Tomorrow the team starts in second row and we are hoping for another good result."

Peter Thompson, president and team founder, Qi-Meritus.Mahara: "I have been looking forward to our first ever race. The team went well beyond the set goal and finished with both cars in the points. These seven points are a great achievement knowing we did not have such a great qualifying session, and lost a few precious minutes with both cars going off the track in the third turn at the same place during the practice session and in qualifying. In the race, Luca had a problem with a back marker and with a stuck rear wheel during the pit stop. Nevertheless, this morning in qualifying, Qi-Meritus.Mahara finished as the second highest team on the time sheets placement. This is a good sign of the team's degree of preparation. These seven points are fantastic. Congratulations to the entire team for this achievement. I dedicate our points to our sponsor Qi."


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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Hiroki Yoshimoto , Luca Filippi