Qi-Meritus.Mahara scores a strong 10 points in round 1 of GP2 Asia. Well done Hiroki! Race 1 (42 laps) 5th place (4 pts) Luca FILIPPI (best 1.23.767) 6th place (3pts) Hiroki YOSHIMOTO (best 1.24.431) Race 2 (28 laps) 4th place (3 points)...
Qi-Meritus.Mahara scores a strong 10 points in round 1 of GP2 Asia. Well done Hiroki!
Race 1 (42 laps)
5th place (4 pts) Luca FILIPPI (best 1.23.767)
6th place (3pts) Hiroki YOSHIMOTO (best 1.24.431)
Race 2 (28 laps)
4th place (3 points) Hiroki YOSHIMOTO (best 1.23.769)
Luca FILIPPI -- DNF - Lap 4
The inaugural round of the newly born GP2 Asia series started well for Qi-Meritus.Mahara with another finish in the points (3) and a fourth place finish from Hiroki YOSHIMOTO in today's second race. This was added to seven points obtained yesterday in a strong finish at fifth and sixth places in the first race for Luca Filippi and Hiroki Yoshimoto respectively at the Dubai Autodrome.
Both drivers started from second row today and had a good start passing Karun Chandock (iSport International) and maintaining A. Valles and Romain Grosjean (Art Grand Prix) behind them. Luca FILIPPI and Hiroki YOSHIMOTO were second and third right away from the start. The race was slowed down after a safety car came out. The cars were very close when the safety car went back - but Luca FILIPPI experienced an unexpected problem with the gearbox and had to stop on lap 4. Meanwhile, Hiroki YOSHIMOTO maintained his position and second place and was laping in 1.24.842 a bit quicker than leader Fairuz Fauzy (Super Nova Racing) till a back-marker coming out of the pit almost pushed him off which gave Chandock the dreamed for occasion to pass him.
Luca FILIPPI (car No 27): "I had a good start and was up to a strong second position right away. During the safety car the gearbox went dead. There was nothing I could do to shift down. The gearbox was in neutral. Nothing I could do would reset it. It may possibly be a problem with a faulty set up of the safety systems; but the team has to check what happened. I am very disappointed to have had to stop on the fourth lap, because the car was set up perfectly; my pace was really good from the start."
Hiroki YOSHIMOTO (car No 26): "I am proud to win points again for the second consecutive race with team Qi-Meritus.Mahara. I really had a good start. I was on the outside but Fairuz Fauzy (Super Nova Racing) pushed me a bit wide. This is a typical racing incident. Brakes and a sixth gear that was too long cost me the podium. I was not using all the power available. As for the brakes, since yesterday's race, they were a bit "spongy" and were feeling a bit like truck brakes, so I could not push as hard as I wanted to. The worst moment happened when a back marker came out of the pits and almost pushed me off. That provided and opportunity for Chandhok; but I could not re-pass him and regain because of my acceleration trouble. Then I had another emotion laden moment with Soucek's car and we were wheel to wheel until the DPR driver spun. It was a hard race; but I had a strong race. Overall, with the team we need to continue working on the speed and still need to do lot of development work."
Raad S. ABDULJAWAD, Team Chairman Qi-Meritus.Mahara --"The team is on a learning curve but overall it was a good result. We now have data to analyze whether they be good results or mistakes. And from now we can see how to make improvements for Indonesia and the rest of the season. The synergy between the team and drivers is working well. It is a good start."
Peter Thompson, president and team founder, Qi-Meritus.Mahara: "Of course, the team is unhappy that Luca FILIPPI could not finish this race since he was eventually set up for a win. Overall fourth place again and three points is a fantastic achievement for our new team, which now ranks third in the Championship behind two very established and strong teams. Congratulations to the team and to our champions who have set the pace. The team went beyond it stated goal to participate in their first ever week-end of the series. These ten points are a great result and we are looking forward to some more developments for the race in Sentul, Indonesia for the second round."