First Russian racing team joins GP2 series



First Russian racing team joins GP2 seriesMoscow: A new Russian team - Russian Time - has joined the grid of the GP2 series, the organisers said. Russian Time is the first team from Russia to compete in GP2, which is one step below Formula One, and will start running at this week`s test at the Circuit de Catalunya, starting Tuesday.

"We know that it will be a challenge to be quickly on par with the other teams, but we have managed to put together a group of people whose experience in GP2 will be invaluable and we are pretty confident that we will do a good job from the get-go," team principal Igor Mazepa said on the GP2 website.

"We`re looking forward to this first season and hope to add many more to it."

The team replaces Britain`s iSport International, which took Timo Glock to the 2007 GP2 title but has since reportedly been facing financial problems.

Russian Time said on Twitter their drivers for the test would be Britain`s Luciano Bacheta, the reigning champion of now-defunct Formula Two, and France`s Tom Dillmann, who was 15th in last year`s GP2 standings.

Details about the new team are scarce. Mazepa shares his name with the head of Ukrainian financial firm Concorde Capital, although it was not immediately clear whether the two are the same person.

It is also unclear whether the team shares any links with Russian Age Racing, a team which has competed in the FIA GT and A1GP series, with one driver being Nikolai Fomenko, technical director of the Marussia Formula One team.

The Russian-language name of Russian Age Racing could also be translated into English as "Russian time."

IANS