x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Yas Marina to test GP2 cars in dress rehearsal

Only a week before the Formula One fraternity descend on the UAE capital for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the Yas Marina Circuit will host a one-off GP2 Asia "shakedown" test.

The track will undergo tests only a week before the race.
The track will undergo tests only a week before the race.

Only a week before the Formula One fraternity descend on the UAE capital for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the Yas Marina Circuit will host a one-off GP2 Asia "shakedown" test to prepare marshalls, crews and officials for everything to expect come November 1. "We need to ensure the people who will make the Grand Prix happen are confident and familiar with the tasks awaiting them on race day," said Richard Cregan, chief executive, Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management.

"This is to test systems [not the track] - it's about getting out there and making sure our crews and marshalls are familiar with radio systems, timing systems, safety procedures and the various scenarios of having multiple vehicles positioned around the track. "We will be able to assess aspects such as noise, and the effect the cars have on the area as a working environment. It's vital we make sure our marshalls experience operating in a race environment," added Cregan.

Next to their F1 equivalents, GP2-spec cars represent the quickest open-wheel vehicles in motorsport, but any flags the trialling drivers and teams raise about the condition of Yas Marina Circuit will not be rectified prior to the emirate's debut Grand Prix a week later. "We'll have had an FIA track inspection by then and the only thing we will be able to do is take on drivers' recommendations and relay them to Charlie Whiting, the FIA's race director - but we're not expecting any major changes at that stage," said Cregan.

Adding ADMM will "clarify which drivers and teams will be participating closer to the race time", Cregan believed the chance to pit GP2 Asia series cars against the Hermann Tinke-designed circuit - in a closed-door testing session - was a chance too good to miss for officials. @Email:emegson@thenational.ae