Building motorsport in China

Gianpaolo Dallara, Jean-Claude Migeot, Bruno Engelric and Luca Birindelli have joined forces to create Asia Racing Technologies, which aims to assist China to nurture its up-and-coming motorsport industry.

The project is being headed by Italian lawyer Luca Birindelli, the managing partner of Birindelli e Associati, an Italian law firm which is focussed on the Asia-Pacific region. The core activities of the firm are in the China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam.

Birindelli acted as counsel to Enzo Ferrari and the Ferrari's Racing Department in the 1980s, doing much of the team's contractual negotiations in the period. In 1993 Birindelli moved to China and has since developed a business, specialising in foreign direct investment. However he remains well-connected in sporting circles and was chairman of the Challenger of Record Management organisation, which ran the Louis Vuitton Cup competition prior to the last America's Cup sailing competition in Auckland.

Birindelli has recruited chassis manufacturer Gianpaolo Dallara, aerodynamics expert Jean-Claude Migeot and Bruno Engelric, who runs Del West Europe, supplier of valve-train components to most of the motorsport industry, to the company which intends to play a key role in developing a motorsport industry in China. Their plans include a young engineer training scheme in Europe and the establishment of a research facility at the Shanghai International Circuit. The group will also be assisting the Chinese motorsport federation to launch a programme to find young drivers, the establishment of a Chinese Formula 3 Championship in 2008 and establishing companies to build the first Chinese F3 cars and engines.

"Our mission," says Birindelli, "is to provide our Chinese partners with the right training, technology and logistics to fast-track the development of the Chinese motorsport industry. If we do not involve Chinese nationals, provide them with a solid foundation of motorsport knowledge and guide them towards the top of the industry, it is feasible that it will remain an untapped possibility. Our programme will require major investment, both human and financial, but we know this is the best way forward for China and its motor racing industry."

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