Asia: Bahrain: Luca Filippi race 2 report

MalaysiaQI-MeritusMahara.com betters previous points tally, now seeks first win SAKHIR, BAHRAIN (FEB 28, 2010): It was a case of so close yet so far for MalaysiaQI-MeritusMahara.com in the third round of the 2009-2010 GP2 Asia Series when Luca...

MalaysiaQI-MeritusMahara.com betters previous points tally, now seeks first win

SAKHIR, BAHRAIN (FEB 28, 2010): It was a case of so close yet so far for MalaysiaQI-MeritusMahara.com in the third round of the 2009-2010 GP2 Asia Series when Luca Filippi once again finished second in the main race.

It was the second time this season the Italian finished runners-up -- he was also second in the season opening race in Abu Dhabi in Novermber -- but the result was enough to give the only truly Asian team on the grid eight valuable points and its highest ever total in three seasons of GP2 Asia.

The Malaysian team earned 18th points in its first season which saw them finish ninth overall and nine points last season which placed them 10th. This year, with one more round and two races to go, MalaysiaQI-MeritusMahara.com has 19 points and sits fourth in the Constructors' Championship with the potential of finishing as high as second.

Team iSport have an unassailable lead after a dominant season which has seen it amass 62 points, but the gap between Arden (28 points), DPR (26) and Meritus (19) means second place will only be decided in two weeks' time when the GP2 Asia Series returns as a support race for the Bahrain F1 race.

Filippi is also fourth in the Drivers' Championships with 16 points, only three behind second-placed Giacomo Ricci of DPR. Oliver Turvey of iSport is third on 17 while his team mate Davide Valsecchi has 45 points.

In the previous two seasons, no MalaysiaQI-MeritusMahara.com driver has ever finished inside the top five and Filippi is fired up to create history for the team.

"It will be great if I can help the team to its best ever finish in the team standings and also finish inside the top three," said the 24-year-old Italian. "We have a great car and with two more races to go on a track I have won before, I'm quietly confident ahead of the last round. We must now go on and try to win our first race in GP2 Asia."

He added: "I would like thank the Malaysian Ambassador His Excellency Dato Syed Sultan Idris and the Italian Ambassador Enrico Padola who visited me before the start of the main race. They certainly brought me luck. I hope to see them again in two weeks!"

Team founder and president, Peter Thompson was obviously proud of the team's success in earning its highest points tally and said the changes made to the engineering structure prior to the start of the season has paid dividends.

"We made changes to on the technical side and even brought in four engineers with Formula 1 experience into the team. The move has worked wonders as we are on the verge of finishing among the top five and even have a chance of being runners-up," said Thompson.

"It has been a great team effort and with two weeks before the next round, I hope we can find away to make the step up to the next level."

-source: meritus

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Series FIA F2
Drivers Luca Filippi , Davide Valsecchi , Oliver Turvey , Giacomo Ricci