GP2

Asia: My Qi-Meritus.Mahara newsletter 2008-11-06

Malaysian team eye GP2 Asia title SEPANG: Malaysian team My Qi-Meritus.Mahara are confident they can build on their spectacular start to their second season in GP2 Asia Series when the championship moves to Dubai next month. The only truly...

Malaysian team eye GP2 Asia title

SEPANG: Malaysian team My Qi-Meritus.Mahara are confident they can build on their spectacular start to their second season in GP2 Asia Series when the championship moves to Dubai next month.

The only truly Asian team on the grid, My Qi-Meritus.Mahara scored points in both races of the opening round last month where the GP2 Asia Series was a support race for the Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix.

New Zealand hotshot Earl Bamber finished his debut GP2 race in sixth position, stunning his more experienced rivals with his calm and composed driving. The 18-year-old, who has been with the team since he was a 14-year- old karter, then became the youngest ever podium finisher in GP2 history when he finished runners-up to David Valsecchi in the second race of the weekend.

"The competition in GP2 Asia is harder than what I have experienced until now, but I'm pleased with the way I handled it," said Bamber, who has won a quarter of all the races he has competed in.

"The car is fantastic, but I am still on a learning curve. If the team get to work a bit more on the car, we will have other good races. I had never dreamt of such an incredible result having ranked 23rd in our first practice session," added Bamber, who also had two podium finishes on his debut for Team New Zealand at the A1GP Championships early last month.

The team's other driver, Malaysian Alex Yoong, who finished 14th and ninth in China, said: "We had some speed problems on the straight and I was 8km/h slower than Earl with the same car. Now that we have had time to work on the car, I'm confident I will be more competitive in Dubai and this will be good as our main goal is to challenge for the team title."

With 30 motor racing titles to their name in the past 12 years, My Qi- Meritus.Mahara are without doubt one of the most successful teams in the sport and have proven that an Asian team have what it takes to challenge the supposed might of the European-based outfits.

Team Director Firhat Mokzani said: "Bernie Ecclestone offered us the only Asian license for GP2 and we took up the challenge. Last year, we developed the very latest technology in a very short space of time to get the maximum out of the GP2 Asia cars.

"GP2 Asia effectively puts us on the doorstep of F1 and we are proud to be the Malaysian F1 development team."

Peter Thompson, Team Founder said: "I am so happy to have the two cars at the finish and Earl Bamber on the podium in only his second race. "The team worked so hard and I would like to congratulate the mechanics, the engineers and our Team Principal Gianfranco Bielli for this incredible result. It is a fantastic achievement."

-credit: qi-m.m

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