My Qi-Meritus.Mahara has been in Shanghai since the October 9-10 tests as their drivers are to race in the GP2 Asia series race which supports the Chinese Grand Prix. This series is a sister to the main GP2 Championship which has become the...
My Qi-Meritus.Mahara has been in Shanghai since the October 9-10 tests as their drivers are to race in the GP2 Asia series race which supports the Chinese Grand Prix. This series is a sister to the main GP2 Championship which has become the source of quality racing action as a curtain raiser for F1 in Europe and benefits from global television coverage as it acts as a natural feeder to the grand prix teams.
The first round of the season takes place at Shanghai on October 18-19, at the penultimate 2008 F1 Grand Prix weekend.
The GP2 Asia paddock saw some early action yesterday as Earl Bamber and Alex Yoong were interviewed by a large number of Chinese media about their upcoming weekend.
"The season will be short, with six, two-race rounds ending in Bahrain on April 19 2009," said Yoong, the Malaysian ex-F1 driver. "To be here in China is a bit like attending my home Grand Prix. I have many friends here. I explained yesterday the similarities between an F1 car and the GP2 Asia series cars: F1 has more power and more downforce. But the GP2 Asia cars behave like F1
cars. The tests one week ago gave me the right feeling to race. But it was really a working session allowing the mechanics to progress on set-ups. The laps we did were interrupted often by red flags caused by competitors going off the track, so we never explored the full potential of the tyres. These sessions were more of a shakedown to ensure that our Malaysian team is well-prepared for qualifying and two first races of the season. I can't wait to race, and am eager to drive tomorrow."
18 year-old New Zealander Bamber said: "I am enjoying every moment of this preparation. This is all new to me and a real step up from racing back home with V6-engined cars or even from the A1 cars I have been driving recently. I hope I can do a good job like I did with two podiums in Zandvoort for my first A1GP race.
"The test session in Shanghai with my new MY Qi-Meritus.Mahara team did not show our full potential, but it was more important to learn the track and the car than to work on speed records. Now my knowledge of the car is much better and this is what counts ahead of the weekend."
Peter Thompson, team founder said: "My Qi-Meritus.Mahara is the only truly Asian team in the all-new GP2 Asia series. The Bahrain GP, the Dubai Autodrome, and now the new Abu Dhabi GP have created a greater awareness of motorsport in the Middle East. Our My Qi-Meritus.Mahara team have plenty of experience to draw on in this region having won 25 Asian motorsport titles since 1995. We are happy to start the Championship in Shanghai, one of the tracks where we come most to drive in all the Asia championships.
"'Winning is Business' comes from the Chinese translation of our word-brand Meritus, 'Wan Li Da'. It means 'Winning comes First' - even if the effort takes 100,000 miles."