New Minardi-Asiatech PS2 will run this week

THE new Minardi-Asiatech PS2 chassis will turn a wheel for the first time later this week. The new car is currently nearing completion and should be ready to run on Friday with Mark Webber and Alex Yoong expected to get the first taste of the new car, which will be a development of the PS01 chassis with the latest version of the Asiatech V10 engine in the back. The big question will be how much power this new engine will be pumping out as the team was seriously lacking horsepower last year from its European V10 units. The Asiatech V10s are rumored to be developing around 800 horsepower, which should enable to Minardi to get into the midfield. The engines are, however, a long way behind the BMWs which are reputed to be punching out 870 horsepower.

Reliability will also be a big issue as the European V10 engines were rather troublesome last year, although the team's decision to struggle on with the development of an all-titanium gearbox did not help matters. That work has now been completed and the unit is reliable and that should mean that the team can reap the benefits this year of last year's difficult moments.

Minardi is keen to get into the top 10 teams this year (and so get a slice of the TV money) and with the demise of Prost Grand Prix and the arrival of Toyota Motorsport there is a good chance that Minardi can achieve that goal, particularly if they are able to get some points on the board in the early part of the year before reliability improves amongst all the teams.

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