GP2 Asia Series to Merge with Main GP2 Series Next Year

July 13, 2011

Motorsport’s GP2 Asia Series will merge with the main GP2 Series next year.

The Asia Series launched in 2008 using cars that had been replaced in the main GP2 Series, and in its first year took place over 10 rounds at five different venues in the Middle East and South East Asia.

However, this year it comprised of just four rounds – two of which were held in Europe at Imola due to civil unrest in Bahrain – and with the same third-generation cars used in the main Series.

From 2012 the two Series will combine to create an international championship.

GP2 CEO Bruno Michel said: “In 2011, almost 85% of the drivers who did the Asia Series this season are taking part of the European Series as we are using the GP2/11 car in both categories. This year also marked the fact that for the first time the same thirteen teams entered both Series. We talked to them and we decided that it was logical to have one single Series from 2012.

“The merger will definitely help drivers gain even more experience on Formula One circuits throughout the world and will make the Series even more attractive and competitive. We will announce the 2012 calendar and the number of rounds at a later date.”

GP2 has also announced that it will hold a separate race at this year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that will not contribute to either championship. Labelled the 2011 GP2 Final, the race will support the Formula One race and will see all thirteen GP2 teams fight for a prize fund.

“We had planned to go back to Abu Dhabi in November since the beginning of this year,” Michel added. “Yas Marina is a great track. So we decided that we would have one single race event called the 2011 GP2 Final there. It will be a fantastic opportunity for drivers who wish to do GP2 Series next year to try and have their first taste of the category in race conditions. It will also be a fantastic occasion for our teams to try new drivers and start working with them.”