HISTORIC GP2 TESTS RESULTS INSPIRES MERITUSGP's BMW CHALLENGE KUALA LUMPUR (OCT 27): Questnet Team Qi MeritusGP could be crowned Formula BMW Pacific team champion for the seventh consecutive time this weekend and the team was given a shot in the...
HISTORIC GP2 TESTS RESULTS INSPIRES MERITUSGP's BMW CHALLENGE
KUALA LUMPUR (OCT 27): Questnet Team Qi MeritusGP could be crowned Formula BMW Pacific team champion for the seventh consecutive time this weekend and the team was given a shot in the arms by the results of recent GP2 Asia tests in Abu Dhabi.
MalaysiaQi-MeritusMahara.com driver Luca Filippi underlined his credentials when he topped both days of tests at the newly built Yas Marina Circuit which will host the inaugural Abu Dhabi F1 race on Sunday. GP2 Asia is a support race for the main event. Diego Nunes also impressed when he finished second and fifth in his first outings with MeritusGP.
There is an added incentive for the Formula BMW Pacific mechanics and engineers as MeritusGP president, Peter Thompson, had promised the fully Malaysian crew the chance to work with the GP2 team this season. "Obviously we can't do that this weekend as both championships are on simultaneously, but we will do so once the Formula BMW Pacific ends," said Thompson.
"It has always been the team's plan to promote the Malaysian Formula BMW Pacific pit crew into our GP2 structure as it is our main priority to eventually have Malaysians heading our engineering staff. This will take time but for now, we will slowly introduce them to our GP2 team and they can learn from the best."
Hoping to build on the feel good factor of its GP2 Asia outfit, MeritusGP's Formula BMW Pacific team knows it can sew up both the team and driver championship - through Rio Haryanto - when the penultimate round is held at the Okayama International Circuit, Japan, this weekend. There will be two races in Japan before the final leg in Macau on Nov 20-22.
MeritusGP has a lead of 43.62 points over E-Rain Racing in the team championship, collecting 287.5 points from 12 races while E-Rain has collected 243.88 points and Eurasia Motorsport 243.75 points.
MeritusGP, Asia's most succesful motorsport team, is also leading in the drivers' championship, with Rio accumulating 188 points for a 33-point advantage over Gary Thompson. Axcil Jefferies is third with 139 points.
MeritusGP owner Firhat Mokhzani said he is delighted Meritus has continued its domination of the championship despite opting for two young drivers in Rio and Dustin Sofyan.
"We knew it was a gamble to take two relatively unknowns who are only 16- and 14-years-old respectively," said Firhat.
"However, we had faith in them and also our Malaysian engineers and mechanics who have been working hard behind the scenes. I will not take anything for granted even though there are only three races left."
Rio has won six of the 12 races thus far, while Dustin has collected 74 points to place fifth in the overall standings.