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Rediff.com  » Sports » Super Aguri F1 team confirm takeover

Super Aguri F1 team confirm takeover

March 11, 2008 12:04 IST

Struggling Super Aguri confirmed Japan's Takuma Sato and Britain's Anthony Davidson as their 2008 drivers on Tuesday after agreeing to a takeover of the Formula One team.

"We have reached agreement with Magma Group regarding the acquisition of the Super Aguri F1 team," the Honda-backed team said in a statement issued ahead of Sunday's season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

"Magma has also reached agreement with Honda Motor Co. Ltd regarding technical cooperation and engine supply to Super Aguri. "It is expected the acquisition process will be completed over the next few weeks."

No financial details were given.

The team said Sato and Davidson, who raced for Super Aguri last year, would continue as the driving line-up.

Magma Group is run by Martin Leach, a former president of Ford Europe as well as ex-chief executive of Maserati and ex-managing director of Mazda Japan.

The company's Ultramotive division are based at the Leafield facility in central England used by Super Aguri and now-defunct Arrows before them.

Aguri founder Aguri Suzuki, a former Grand Prix driver, said in the statement he is looking forward to working closely with Magma.

BIG ADVANTAGE

"I was not worried at all about our drivers for 2008," added the Japanese. "It will be a big advantage for us that we can continue working with them this year.

"For Anthony, as this season will be his second as a racing driver, I am expecting him to achieve some points. For Takuma, I would like him to repeat the excellent work he did last season."

Super Aguri, who finished ninth overall last season, arrive in Melbourne with minimal pre-season mileage under their belts after taking part in just one full test since December while focusing on securing their financial future.

Despite the team's optimism, there had been considerable speculation in the Formula One media about their ability to start the season.

"Our winter preparation has not been as comprehensive as we had wished; however we always get over these difficulties and keep pushing forward with our fighting spirit," said Sato.

"I hope we can maintain this through the coming season and make up for some lost time."

Source:
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