Super Aguri F1 finds 11th hour savior

Super Aguri F1 finds 11th hour savior

After hitting a financial wall that kept the team from anything approaching full participation in the Formula One winter test season, Super Aguri has forged an arrangement to be backed by Magma Group. The team will continue to use Honda engines...

After hitting a financial wall that kept the team from anything approaching full participation in the Formula One winter test season, Super Aguri has forged an arrangement to be backed by Magma Group. The team will continue to use Honda engines and retain drivers Takuma Sato of Japan and Anthony Davidson of England.

Super Aguri F1 Team trucks.
Photo by xpb.cc.

The agreement will allow the Super Aguri team, which formed in 2005, to appear at the season-opening race at Australia this weekend.

"I am pleased to announce our new partner and drivers finally at this late stage," said team founder Aguri Suzuki, a former F1 driver whose third-place finish at the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix was the first podium for an Asian racer. "I am looking forward to a successful and long-lasting collaboration with Magma Group."

A team announcement said "the acquisition process will be completed over the next few weeks," but gave no details.

In limited testing, drivers Sato and Davidson used an SA07B chassis updated to accommodate 2008 regulations, which this season eliminate driver aids, use standard electronic control unit, and reconfigure the cockpit for driver safety, among other things. Both drivers were upbeat about starting the season

"I am excited about 2008 and happy to be able to carry the momentum gathered during the past two years into a third season with Super Aguri F1 team," Sato said. "Our winter preparation has not been as comprehensive as we had wished; however, we always get over these difficulties and keep pushing forward with our fighting spirit. I hope that we can maintain this through the coming season and make up for some lost time."

Super Aguri scored four points last season, ahead of only Spyker, which scored one point -- and points-stripped McLaren Mercedes, who were thrown out of the constructors' race owing to a cheating scandal.

"Everyone in the team has been working hard and I'd like to thank them, and Honda, for the continued support," Davidson said.

Magma Group boasts a collection of former car company executives from the likes of Ford, General Motors and British Leyland. From their office in Regents Street, London, they promise "to address issues in the automotive sector caused by changing global situations and market conditions," though the company website does not specify products or services the company provides or from where it derives its capital.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Aguri Suzuki
Teams Mercedes , McLaren , Super Aguri F1