AP: Marchy Lee looks to GP2 for 2005

Newly crowned Formula BMW Asia champion Marchy Lee Yin-Kin is setting his sights on the inaugural GP2 series as the next step in his racing career. This Chinese racing sensation from Hong Kong has completely dominated the 2004 Formula BMW Asia ...

Newly crowned Formula BMW Asia champion Marchy Lee Yin-Kin is setting his sights on the inaugural GP2 series as the next step in his racing career. This Chinese racing sensation from Hong Kong has completely dominated the 2004 Formula BMW Asia series with Monarch Lubricants Red Bull Team Meritus, winning nine of the ten races so far, and has an insurmountable points lead with 4 races to go.

The upcoming races in support of the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai will be crucial to his future career. Lee will have the opportunity to strut his stuff on-track in front of the F1 teams and his home fans, and is planning to meet key people off-track to discuss possibilities for 2005 and beyond. Support from an F1 team would give him even more credibility, as Lee plans his entry into the GP2 series next year.

GP2 replaces Formula 3000 as the final steppingstone before entry into F1, and will support most of the European F1 races. This brand new series promises exciting racing at speeds close to F1, with lap times estimated to be 6 seconds slower that a mid-field F1 car. All the cars will be identical Dallara chassis, using the same 600bhp Renault 4 litre V8 engine matched to an exclusive Mécachrome 6-speed semi-automatic paddle-shift gearbox. All 15 teams (30 cars) will use F1-inspired Bridgestone tyres. With such similar equipment, the drivers will have to rely on their own ability to gain a competitive edge, something Lee is used to after a season in the identical BMW single seaters.

"My aim is to race in GP2 next year, because it is the closest formula to F1 and because it will help me learn the F1 circuits at high speeds. I am ready for it, and I just need to be given the opportunity to prove that Chinese drivers can also compete at the top of motorsports," said Lee.

Lee is hoping for another boost later this year, following speculation he may be awarded a test with the BMW.Williams F1 team as a reward for his performance in Formula BMW Asia. Last year's Formula BMW Asia champion, Tung Ho-Pin (also of Team Meritus), was given a test with the F1 team after he dominated the championship with 10 wins out of 14 races. Lee is just 1 race-win from that record, and with 4 races to go, his chances look good.

"A test with BMW.Williams would be amazing. It is every racer's dream to drive an F1 car, and I would learn a lot from such an experience, which would be very beneficial to my future," said Lee.

Lee's manager Peter Thompson, who is also Founder and President of Meritus Racing, has high hopes for his protégé's future.

"Marchy has clearly proved this year that he has a special talent. We are working on a few options for next year, and if he is just given the chance I know he will prove he has what it takes to be at the top, certainly one of the top Chinese racers around today," said Thompson.

-mr-

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Ho-Pin Tung , Marchy Lee
Teams Williams