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Rossi 4th Quick In Final 2010 GP2 Test At Abu Dhabi

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Photo Credit: LAT

ABU DHABI, Dec. 1, 2010: American Alexander Rossi put together the fourth fastest lap of the two-day GP2 test in Sunday’s final session, driving Racing Engineering’s Dallara GP2/08 around the 3.45-mile (5.5-km) Yas Marina Circuit in 1:47.280.

Rossi, of Nevada City, Calif., was only .142-second slower than Michael Herck’s test-topping 1:47.138, also done Sunday afternoon. Rossi was the fastest rookie in the test, which concluded on-track activity for GP2 until next year.

“We worked this morning on finding a good balance with the car,” Rossi said. “We had a couple of issues, but overall the car was very good at the end. I’m happy with the progression of the day. Obviously, you want to be P1, but there are a lot of factors and variables that take place for this to happen in an ultra competitive series.”

Teams were limited to two sets of Bridgestone tires for each day in the test and they are at their peak performance for one lap on the lengthy Yas Marina Circuit.

“The car itself is not so tricky to drive,” Rossi said. “The difficult part is maximizing the Bridgestone tire. They have a very small window for maximizing performance and achieving the maximum lap. Timing this tire window coupled with traffic is very important to understand. In GP2 qualifying up front is half the battle. Putting that type of lap together is not an easy task.”

Rossi had the eighth-best time in Sunday morning’s session at 1:48.340.

“I was quite happy with the way we (with Racing Engineering) worked together and the steps we made,” Rossi said. “It was a very positive day and, hopefully, something can be worked out for the future.”

Racing Engineering President Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon was impressed by Rossi.

“This was a very good day of testing, I’m surprised by this young talent,” de Orleans-Borbon said. “Alexander is for sure one of the contenders for the 2011 season. It was a pleasure for Racing Engineering to work with Alexander and the results how that this combination works well.”

The 19-year-old Rossi drove for Arden International in Saturday’s test. He was 13th at 1:48.703 in the morning and 14th at 1:48.425 in the afternoon.

“It was a good day,” Rossi said. “Arden was fantastic to work with and I was quite comfortable with the whole team. We were missing a bit of pace but the times were not a true representation of our pace. The car was a top seven or eight, no problem but I found traffic in sector three, three laps in a row, losing the maximum tire window for that set of tires.”

Rossi concluded a very successful year with the GP2 test at Abu Dhabi. He won two races and finished fourth in GP3 Championship. Rossi also scored points in four of eight GP2 Asia’s 2009-10 season and concluded the season with the most overtakes, at 68.

“This was a good two days in Abu Dhabi, evaluating two very respected teams and myself in the car,” Rossi said. “We accomplished what was planned for the test, along with building good relationships. We showed well and now we need to decide the right fit and finalize sponsorship.”

In October, Rossi tested four days with the seven-time winning ISR Racing World Series by Renault 3.5 team, with the fastest time on the second day at Motorland Aragon and second fastest at the Catalunya Circuit in Spain.

Rossi’s ambition is to be the next American in Formula 1. GP2 is F1’s top development series and World Series by Renault 3.5 is a viable alternative. He will work to find a team to drive for in one of those series next year in the next couple of months.

For now, Rossi is headed home to California for a nice holiday break, meetings with sponsors and winter training program preparing for 2011.

“It will be the first time I’ve been home since August,” Rossi said. “It will be quite nice spending time at home for the holiday’s and training with my hometown trainer.”

GP2 testing results Nov. 28, Abu Dhabi, Yas Marina Circuit:

Sunday,Nov. 28, afternoon session

1. Michael Herck DPR 1:47.138

2. Fabio Leimer Rapax 1:47.158

3. Josef Kral iSport International 1:47.227

4. Alexander Rossi Racing Engineering 1:47.280

5. Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident Racing 1:47.425

6. Brendon Hartley Ocean Racing Technology 1:47.456

7. Luiz Razia Barwa Addax Team 1:47.667

8. Alexander Sims Racing Engineering 1:47.744

9. Roberto Merhi Barwa Addax Team 1:47.779

10. Charles Pic Rapax 1:47.797

11. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:47.820

12. Oliver Turvey Arden International 1:47.884

13. Kevin Ceccon DPR 1:47.888

14. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Scuderia Coloni 1:47.925

15. Pal Varhaug Dams 1:48.156

16. Sam Bird Super Nova Racing 1:48.239

17. Adrian Zaugg Trident Racing 1:48.362

18. Karun Chandhok Scuderia Coloni 1:48.535

19. James Jakes Super Nova Racing 1:48.761

20 Jolyon Palmer ART Grand Prix 1:48.998

21. Jan Charouz Dams 1:49.430

22. Armaan Ebrahim Ocean Racing Technology 1:49.537

23. Esteban Gutierrez ART Grand Prix 1:49.978

Sunday, Nov. 28, morning session

1. Michael Herck DPR 1:47.909

2. Josef Kral iSport International 1:47.941 24

3. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Scuderia Coloni 1:47.961

4. Kevin Ceccon DPR 1:48.169

5. Esteban Gutierrez ART Grand Prix 1:48.171

6. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:48.229

7. Brendon Hartley Ocean Racing Technology 1:48.322

8. Alexander Rossi Racing Engineering 1:48.340

9. Luiz Razia Barwa Addax Team 1:48.549

10. Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident Racing 1:48.603

11. Sam Bird Super Nova Racing 1:48.622

12. Roberto Merhi Barwa Addax Team 1:48.643

13. Adrian Zaugg Trident Racing 1:48.764

14. Alexander Sims Racing Engineering 1:48.793

15. Karun Chandhok Scuderia Coloni 1:48.903

16. Oliver Turvey Arden International 1:49.197

17. Charles Pic Rapax 1:49.205

18. Rio Haryanto Arden International 1:49.397

19. Jolyon Palmer ART Grand Prix 1:49.491

20 Jan Charouz Dams 1:49.894

21. James Jakes Super Nova Racing 1:50.027

22. Pal Varhaug Dams 1:50.113

23. Armaan Ebrahim Ocean Racing Technology 1:50.247

24. Fabio Leimer Rapax – Morning Times deleted, driver found underweight

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Rossi 2010 Partners include; Intel, John Deere Credit, CS&A, Alaska Coffee Roasting, Leaders Choice Insurance ,North Miami Travel, Intervision, Norlie International, Meyers Investment Group, Racing Legends Motorsports, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Sierra Timberline, Century Equipment Company, Alan K. Wong M.D., Performance Drink, Kial James Design, Alpine Stars, McSweeney and Associates, Real Life Fitness, Grass Valley Sign and G. Russell Enterprises.

Alexander Rossi in 40 Seconds: From 121 Formula car starts, 19-year old Alexander has netted 36 wins, 56 podiums, 33 poles and current win percentage of 29.75 percent. 2009-10 GP2 Asia, 3 top-5 finishes; 5th overall, 2009 BMW / Sauber F1 Team, Jerez Spain Testing; 2009 International Formula Master Rookie Champion, 4th overall and 3 wins; 2008 Formula BMW World Final Winner and 2008 Formula BMW Americas Champion with 11 wins 10 poles and 11 fastest laps. Rossi holds Formula BMW America series record with 14 wins to his credit and 11 pole positions. 2007 Formula BMW USA Championship Alexander finished 3rd in overall in points with 3 wins and 5 podiums.