Stoddart enthuses about Malaysia

EUROPEAN MINARDI team principal Paul Stoddart is eager to further link his team to south east Asia following the signing of Malaysian driver Alex Yoong, who will join the race team at next weekend's Italian Grand Prix.

With a new power supply for 2002 from Asiatech freeing up funds to invest in the team's facilities and a major new backer in the form of Malaysian government-controlled betting organization Magnum Stoddart's recent trip to Kuala Lumpur further enthused the Australian entrepreneur towards the region.

"There's so much this country can offer Formula One and I am truly amazed at the potential available here," said Stoddart. "Right from having what can be considered as the best Formula 1 circuit in the world, Malaysia offers tremendous potential in the development of motor sport."

Magnum is close to signing up as European Minardi's title sponsor in 2003 as a result of Yoong's arrival in the team, and a deal with Proton to the party in conjunction with Asiatech is looking like a strong prospect.

"I had the opportunity to visit the Proton plant on Thursday and I was impressed with what I saw," Stoddart said. "I am looking at the possibility of working together with a Malaysian company to develop an engine for Formula One, or, more specifically, for Minardi."

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