GP2

Asia: Meritus Abu Dhabi test notes 2009-10-24

Asian motorsport ambassadors Malaysian team MeritusGP fastest again at Abu Dhabi Italian Luca Filippi - fastest overall (39 laps) Morning 13th place - 1.54.821 - (11 laps) Afternoon 1st place - 1.51.415 - (28 laps) Brazilian Diego...

Asian motorsport ambassadors Malaysian team MeritusGP fastest again at Abu Dhabi

Italian Luca Filippi - fastest overall (39 laps)
Morning 13th place - 1.54.821 - (11 laps)
Afternoon 1st place - 1.51.415 - (28 laps)

Brazilian Diego Nunes
Morning 5th place - 1.53.878 - (11 laps)
Afternoon 5th place - 1.51.993 - (25 laps)

Saturday, October 24, 2009 - The second of the two days testing prior to the inaugural race weekend at the newly born Yas Marina circuit resumed on Saturday under bright sunshine for the 25 GP2 Asia cars present. Like yesterday in the first test session, MalaysiaQI-MeritusMaharaGP.com driver Luca Filippi set the fastest time of the day, setting his time in the afternoon session while team mate Diego Nunes finished both sessions in fifth place.

The team management and drivers were more than satisfied with the results.

In the morning session, Luca and Diego had continued working on the car's preparations for the upcoming season with a race simulation run on qualifying tyres. It was an intensive day of work for all with the team engineers. During the morning session Luca Filippi was immediately comfortable on old tyres, one of the leading drivers from the start. Later Luca Filippi did not cover as much mileage as he wanted as the fly-by-wire motor throttle failed during the engine pre run preparation. Diego Nunes was just as competitive and was running near the front, as high as second place, but eventually finished both sessions in fifth.

Luca Filippi commented, "I am happy with my times and the results on both days. I did not expect to finish fastest in two of the sessions. It is a good result even if I feel that there is still room for improvement. We are only starting to understand the new car and which direction to take our working program in so that the team can progress quicker. In second practice, there were lots of yellow flags and a red flag that slowed our preparation. Also the session was more difficult than yesterday as everyone had learned the track by then. We will analyse the data gathered and be ready ahead of Friday and the start of the first weekend of the season. I am happy to be back with a fast and strong team. We are so motivated that it should go well."

Diego Nunes commented, "I hope that after battling all session we now have all issues under control and sorted out. My two first test days were very positive and productive. In the morning, I put my new tyres on too early. Despite this, I finished in the top five. In the afternoon, between the yellow and red flags, I wasted six laps. A pity even if I managed to improve my lap time. The take away is that the car is competitive which is very satisfying. We know where to start to continue in the right direction and have learned what needs to be done on the car. I need to add more mileage on the new 2009 car."

Peter Thompson, president and team founder, "We've had two satisfying days at the track and found some good pace with Luca Filippi and Diego Nunes. The engineers worked hard and we can understand everything we did yesterday. To build the car from scratch in three weeks and to be where we are is phenomenal and it seems that all this hard work is paying off."

Sean Thompson, technical director and team principal added, "MalaysiaQI-MeritusMaharaGP.com engineers have enough data to prepare well for the first race of the season. The engineers and the mechanics from all the team's different nationalities have really meshed well together and we're looking forward to a competitive season. What a fantastic achievement in this first test for a new team."

Team chairman Raad S. Abduljawad concluded, "These results are very encouraging. I am eager to watch the first race of our MalaysiaQI-MeritusMaharaGP.com team at the Yas Marina Circuit and confident we will be competitive."

-credit: meritusracing.com

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Luca Filippi , Diego Nunes