Ocean Racing Technology prepares for the first GP2 Asia Series races
Ocean Racing Technology will go on the newly constructed Abu Dhabi circuit from October 23 for the next round of tests in preparation for the impending 2009/10 GP2 Asia Series Championship, the first races of which will be held on the same circuit just one week later. The Portuguese team believes this first test and races will be the ideal time to collect important data for the upcoming GP2 championships, particularly the GP2 Asia Series, which will resume in February 2010 after a lengthy winter break.
Following their good tests at Jerez, Fabio Leimer and Alexander Rossi have landed the two available drives at Ocean Racing Technology for the upcoming test and race. After a brilliant beginning to his single seater career in the USA where he was crowned in Formula BMW, American driver Alexander Rossi successfully continued his career in Europe in 2009, mainly in the Formula Master championship, a category whose last champion was Switzerland's Fabio Leimer.
Jose Guedes and Tiago Monteiro stress that the upcoming test and the races at Abu Dhabi will enable them to look further into their driver selection process for the next upcoming season. "We liked Fabio Leimer competitiveness and we decided to give him another experience, this time in race. Fabio Leimer is a young talent who proved his value by clinching the Formula Master's title, a series where Alexander Rossi, only 18 years old, also secured excellent results as he ended up 4th for his first year in the championship and whereas he had to adapt himself to Europe at the same time," Tiago explained. "He will take the wheel of a BMW Formula 1 single seater in December and he sees this opportunity to race in the GP2 Series as a crucial step to get to grip with such powerful cars like the one of the GP2 Series and of F1."
José Guedes explained the team's strategy: "With these tests and races, the team enters into its second phase but it is too early to make final decisions yet as the GP2 Asia Series will resume in February 2010. Most of the teams consider these first two races as a test, which does not mean we are not aiming high! We will put our cars in the hands of two drivers we think will be in good conditions to help us start the championship off on the right foot."
The new Abu Dhabi circuit will be the venue of the test and the first races of the GP2 Asia Series at the same time as the finale of the Formula One world championship and the Yas island has constructed a circuit of the highest quality. In addition to the circuit, it comprises of a Ferrari museum and a Warner Bros Theme Park. 5.5km in length, the circuit began its construction in 2007 and is surrounded by a luxurious marina while the track itself will pass under the grandstand. Abu Dhabi is certainly an ideal destination for a quality transmission of all events.
After the races of Abu Dhabi, Ocean Racing Technology will return to Europe for further tests at the Paul Ricard circuit, between the 12th and the 14th of November where they will test António Felix da Costa, Charles Pic, Christian Vietoris, Nelson Panciatici as well as a fifth driver yet to be confirmed.