GP2

Asia: Qatar: My Qi-Meritus.Mahara race one report

Tyre problems in race let My Qi-Meritus.Mahara's Bonanomi and Parente down in race one Race One: Marco Bonanomi (car no.18) 16th Alvaro Parente (car no. 19) - 17th Doha, Qatar - Friday, February 13, 2009 - Italian Marco Bonanomi ...

Tyre problems in race let My Qi-Meritus.Mahara's Bonanomi and Parente down in race one

Race One: Marco Bonanomi (car no.18) 16th

Alvaro Parente (car no. 19) - 17th

Doha, Qatar - Friday, February 13, 2009 - Italian Marco Bonanomi and Portuguese driver Alvaro Parente started the 34-lap long race one in Doha from 12th and 13thplaces respectively in front of a grandstand filled with 5,000 cheering supporters - guests of the team's sponsor Questnet.

An unusual accident at the start between Yelmer Buurman, Sakon Yamamoto and Rodolfo Gonzalez on the pit straight changed the course of the race requiring the safety car. Alvaro Parente was running in eighth position as the race resumed and looked unstoppable as he carved his way up to sixth and clocked the fastest lap of the race. But damaged front tyres caused Parente to pit three times during the race. Bonanomi encountered similar problems and when he pitted on lap 14, the team opted to change all four tyres, but ten laps later the car was undriveable again.

Alvaro Parente commented, "I do not know what happened nor whether my tyres were faulty or if it was my driving style or the set-up. I have never had an issue with tyres like this before and it is a real shame because we had a really strong pace. I pushed hard and I am proud to have scored my fastest lap with My Qi-Meritus.Mahara on lap 21. Our strategy had planned the pit stop on lap 12. Then I had a problem with my tires and pitted again a second time on lap 19. I lost the car in the sand but rejoined with no damage and even had to do a third stop on lap 25. That was it for my race despite the fastest lap. I am feeling more confident for the second race though and hope the tyres hold out better tomorrow."

Marco Bonanomi commented, "I am so disappointed with the tyre issue that we suffered from. It cost us a good race despite changing all four tyres in my pit stop only for the problem to return within ten laps making the car impossible to drive. I am sorry for the fans to have lost my good pace because of faulty tyres. I know that we can work on changing the situation for race two."

Peter Thompson, team founder commented, "It's a pity that our drivers had problems with the tyres. We are working hard to investigate what caused this. Alvaro Parente set a good pace and was flying, even scoring a fastest lap. Of course, I am disappointed that neither of our two drivers finished in the points today. Now we must work on a plan for a stronger second race. I want to thank the 5,000 fans from our sponsor Qi to have attended the race in such large numbers. Their motivation is amazing. See you tomorrow to race again in front of our Questnet fans."

Raad S. Abduljawad, team chairman, My Qi-Meritus.Mahara commented, "The team worked really hard for a two car finish for this first ever night race. The ingredients were there for a superb night race and great organization. We are working hard now to understand what happened with the tyres in order to capitalise on our pace and have a better result in tomorrow's second race."

-credit: meritusracing.com

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