The Minardi F1 Team is today pleased to announce the formation of Minardi Team Asia. This follows the signing of an agreement with Eurasia Motorsport, and will result in the new team entering Asian drivers in both the Formula BMW Asia and Asian ...
The Minardi F1 Team is today pleased to announce the formation of Minardi Team Asia. This follows the signing of an agreement with Eurasia Motorsport, and will result in the new team entering Asian drivers in both the Formula BMW Asia and Asian Formula 3 series in 2004. In addition to its F1 presence, the Minardi name will thus be seen at important regional motor racing events in China, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, Japan and the Philippines this season.
Headquartered in Hong Kong, Eurasia Motorsport will run up to four cars in the 2004 Formula BMW Asia Series, and a single chassis in the Asian Formula 3 Series, all painted in Minardi's distinctive black, white and red colours. Owned and managed by Piers Hunnisett, Mark Goddard and Martin Quick - all of whom have extensive experience of international motorsport - the team's in-depth understanding of the Asian racing scene will give it a competitive edge while, at the same time, providing talented young drivers and technicians from this important region with a clearly defined "ladder" for career advancement.
"There has often been talk of Formula One teams helping to popularise motorsport in Asia, but up until now, nothing of any substance has been done," says Minardi Team Principal, Paul Stoddart. "As a team, Minardi has worked with many Asian companies over recent years, and has said consistently that it wants to assist the development of the sport in this area of the world."
"The Minardi Team Asia initiative allows us to do just that, and I'm sure, considering the population of Asia, a young driver will be discovered via this programme who has the ability and the determination to make it to Formula One.
"From a commercial perspective, this venture will provide the Formula One team's sponsors with the chance to be associated with Minardi at a regional level in what is an extremely important global market. It will also help to introduce Asian companies to motorsport, while allowing them to explore the potential benefits associated with sponsorship."
Piers Hunnisett, speaking on behalf of Eurasia Motorsport, comments, "I have been talking to Paul about this project for a number of months, and am extremely pleased we are able to announce the formation of Minardi Team Asia today. Interest in motor sport in Asia has been growing very strongly over recent years, undoubtedly assisted by the presence of the Malaysian Grand Prix on the Formula One calendar."
"Now, with the inclusion of the Chinese and Bahrain races in the World Championship schedule for the first time, the floodgates have been opened for Asian motorsport. Audiences in this part of the world are clamouring for local heroes, and there is no doubt this link with the Minardi F1 Team will assist the career development of young drivers, while also having the benefit of encouraging new sponsors into the sport."
Hunnisett has been associated with Asian motorsport since 1994, when he ran up-and-coming Malaysian, Alex Yoong, in his debut season of racing. Yoong and the team made history that year, winning the first-ever single-seater car race held in China. Coincidentally, the Kuala Lumpur resident made history again seven years later when, signed by the Minardi Team, he became Malaysia's first Formula One driver.
Minardi Team Asia will announce its 2004 driver line-up in the near future.