Q&A with Benoit Lamonerie (General Manager Speedcar Series) Q: Benoit, tell us a little about yourself and your background. A: I am thirty year-old Frenchman, and former racing driver, member of the "Filiere Elf" in 1997. My career moved into...
Q&A with Benoit Lamonerie (General Manager Speedcar Series)
Q: Benoit, tell us a little about yourself and your background.
A: I am thirty year-old Frenchman, and former racing driver, member of the "Filiere Elf" in 1997. My career moved into event management when I started working for the French Motorsport Federation and later with Stephane Ratel on the Super Racing Weekend (SRW) series. I was put in charge of organising the first SRW meeting at the Dubai Autodrome, and moved to the country as part of that. When that event was extremely successful, I accepted a job at the Dubai Autodrome itself. After 3 years setting it up, I have accepted the offer from Speedcar Investors to run the series for them.
Q: What about the new Grand Racing event, when will it begin?
A: We will be announcing the full 2007/08 Grand Racing schedule soon, but the first event will happen in Dubai on November 10 this year. That weekend will see the debut of the brand new Speedcar Series, which will be supported by the GT3 Championship. GP2 Asia will be added to the race programme at the beginning of 2008. Any teams or drivers interested in taking part should get in contact with our Team Manager, Batti Pregliasco, through our website www.speedcarseries.com
Q: A number of star drivers have already been confirmed for the Speedcar Series, will all the cars be filled by experienced racers?
A: So far we have announced five drivers, Jean Alesi, Johnny Herbert, Stefan Johansson, Narain Karthikeyan and Gianni Morbidelli, and another from the far-east will be confirmed soon. However this is not just a championship for former F1 drivers only. We decided to target former F1 drivers that are still professionally active, not drivers who retired from competitions a long time ago. But we want to create our own young stars too, that can develop and reach the top of the competition. This was a good reason for adding GP2 Asia to the Grand Racing programme, as that series has a reputation of promoting talent, and this partnership will create a natural link for young drivers to try both series.
Q: What is the involvement of Union Properties with Speedcar Series?
A: Union Properties own the Dubai Autodrome that will host the first race of the championship, and our organization will be based there. They are, as the other tracks that Speedcar will visit, key players in the success of the series.