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Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, GP2 Asia Series, and Chevrolet Supercars Middle East Challenge add thrills to Abu Dhabi Grand Prix race weekend

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 26 August, 2009. Spectators at the inaugural Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix have even more reason to look forward to a thrilling weekend of motorsport action at Yas Marina Circuit. Three of the world’s foremost racing series, the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup, GP2 Asia Series, and Chevrolet Supercars Middle East Challenge have been announced as support races to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Each Formula 1™ Grand Prix weekend has a program of high profile support races, consisting of a single seat category such as GP2, and GT-saloon car categories such as Porsche and Chevrolet.

The support race program, whilst adding considerable track action and entertainment for spectators, provides a platform for young drivers to develop and demonstrate their skill in front of the Formula 1 fraternity. A number of the drivers from the support race program progress to Formula 1 - the world’s premier motorsports championship.

Mr Richard Cregan, CEO of Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management said: “We are delighted to have the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup, GP2 Asia Series and Chevrolet Supercars Middle East Challenge included on the race schedule for the Formula 1™ weekend. This is a world-class line up to have at our inaugural Grand Prix.”

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup: Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management (ADMM) and Porsche have signed a deal to bring Porsche support races to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix until 2011. Porsche Mobil1 Supercup, the fastest international brand trophy series, has supported Formula 1™ since 1993 and uses tailor-made 911 GT3 cup cars to race over a distance of approximately 70km. The GP2 Asia Series: With speeds close to those reached by their Formula 1™ counterparts, GP2 has been a natural stepping stone into F1 for many of the sport’s elite drivers, including current F1 superstars such as Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, and Timo Glock. With 26 identical cars, reverse grids and compulsory pitstops, GP2 is certain to entertain the crowd.

Additionally, it has been confirmed that a pre-season GP2 Asia Series test will be held on the 23rd and 24th of October, a week prior to the official public opening of the Circuit. The test presents the ideal opportunity for Yas Marina Circuit to trial all operating systems and services before the Grand Prix event weekend.

Runner-up of the 2008 GP2 main series and former Porsche Mobil1 Supercup driver, Bruno Senna commented on his visit to Yas Marina Circuit this week: “Every driver from every class is really excited about the new Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. It seems that the state-of-the-art facilities, together with a demanding track layout, will be a new and tough challenge to drivers and teams!”

“The support races add to the spectacle for racing fans and makes the "ladder" of motor racing much easier to understand – and it is a perfect opportunity to see the up and coming talent that will feature in F1 in the future.”
Chevrolet Supercars Middle East Challenge: This touring car series comprised solely of Chevrolet Lumina CSV V8 sedans will offer spectators thrilling competition and action packed racing in readily recognizable race spec versions of the popular GM Lumina sedan.

According to Lumina CSV Middle East Champion Tarek Elgammal, “The team from Castrol Racing are extremely excited to be taking part at the first ever Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit. The circuit looks amazing, with facilities that are unmatched anywhere in the world, all on a beautiful marina-side location.”

“As a driver, there is a level of anticipation involved in competing at a new circuit. Without prior knowledge and having only seen track maps, it is important to quickly come to terms with the circuit: Finding areas to possibly gain or lose a few tenths of a second, identifying potential passing opportunities, making changes to the set up of the car are some of the formidable challenges of a new circuit.”

“From a spectator’s perspective, the Supercars Middle East Championship always provides action, drama and excitement.”

The first Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be held from 30 October - 1 November 2009.
A limited number of seats are still available. Go to www.yasmarinacircuit.ae for more details.

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