RETURNING FILIPPI GIVES MERITUS A HUGE BOOST
ABU DHABI (Oct 22, 2009): Asian motorsport ambassadors MalaysiaQI-MeritusMaharaGP.com is confident it can be among the top teams in this year's GP2 Asia, the Asian F1 Development Series. This series is a sister to the main GP2 Championship which acts as a natural feeder to F1 teams.
MalaysiaQI-MeritusMaharaGP.com is a multi-dimensional motorsport services company with a winning culture of race-engineering success in Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. MalaysiaQI-MeritusMaharaGP.com is the only truly Asian team in the GP2 Asia series with strong links with the Middle East through its Saudi partner, Raad S. Abduljawad. The links have led to MalaysiaQI-MeritusGP.com becoming Malaysia and Arab motorsport ambassadors.
The team has plenty of experience to draw on in this region having won 32 Asian motorsport titles since 1995. Meritus were also the Formula BMW Pacific Champions in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and FV6 Asia Champions in 2007, 2008. At round 12, in Singapore on Sept 27, 2009, Rio Haryanto earned maximum championship points for the seventh consecutive race and continues to lead the chase for the 2009 Formula BMW Pacific title.
The season begins on Oct 30-Nov 1, 2009 at the newly built jewel at Yas Marina Circuit during the 2009 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with Italian Luca Filippi as one of the team's driver. Filippi drove for MalaysiaQI-MeritusGP.com two seasons ago.
President and Founder Peter Thompson said: "We have concentrated all our efforts around our team for a new start with a new structure, a long-standing sponsor and strong drivers. After our two first years and all the experience we gained, winning the Championship is the overall goal. It is important and a tradition for the team, its drivers and sponsors, to be remembering our moto: 'Winning is Business'."
He added: "We have an excellent working relationship with Luca who earned a podium for us in Indonesia in our first year of participation. Luca had qualified second, and won before the team was excluded for a technical infringement.
"We enter our third GP2 Asia season with high hopes. We have furthermore strengthened our engineering and appointed Sean Thompson as our Technical Director and Team Principal.We have been looking forward to this moment since our GP2 Asia last race and since our entry was confirmed by Bruno Michel, the Championship organiser.
"The Malaysian-based team will run with race numbers 21 and 22 on our cars and I am proud that Qi, the sponsors of our Malaysian team in Formula BMW Asia and Formula V6 Asia, and of our two first seasons are supporting us again for our third season in GP2 Asia."
The second race of the season will take place again at the Abu Dhabi Yas Marina Circuit on Feb 4-6 2010. The season will continue for the third round on Feb 25-27 2010 at Sakhir circuit, Bahrain and the last stop is planned for 12-14 March 2010 at the Bahrain international circuit at Sakhir (UAE) where the GP2 Asia Series third season support the Bahrain F1 race.
Raad said: "Our team raced previously at the Bahrain GP, in Qatar and at the Dubai Autodrome having thus created a greater awareness of Motorsport in the Middle East. This year, as a team chairman with strong links with the Middle East through my Saudi origins, I am even looking more forward to the spectacular inaugural launch round of the third year of the series at the newly built jewel at Yas Marina Circuit during the 2009 Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix."
Sean Thompson, Technical Director and Team Principal commented, "I am pleased with the assets I am discovering at Malaysia.QI-Meritus.Mahara.com. There are very good people in the team, a good car and I am happy overall.
"The team's goal is to win this short season that stretches from November to March. It will be a long effort. I have not seen the Abu Dhabi Yas Marina Circuit in detail yet, but now that I have arrived, I am amazed at the difference on the site. It is ready and we can't wait to test on the track tomorrow and Saturday."