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Super Aguri withdraw from 2008 championship

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Following weeks of speculation concerning the future of the team, Super Aguri announced Tuesday that they are to withdraw from the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship with immediate effect.

Super Aguri, founded by former driver Aguri Suzuki, had been participating in Formula One racing since the 2006 season. The Japanese team, who scored their first championship points after only 22 races (Spanish Grand Prix, 2007) and finished ninth in the 2007 constructors championship, will cease all activities as of May 6, 2008.

The Honda-powered team, whose driver line-up comprised Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson, ran into financial difficulties last year, and completed little winter testing ahead of the 2008 season as a result. A planned buyout by the Magma Group looked set to save the team until that fell through last month, and only last week Suzuki expressed optimism about a new deal with German automotive company Weigl.

Explaining his decision to withdraw from Formula One racing, Aguri Suzuki released the following statement:

“In order to realize my dream to become an owner of a Formula One Team, I applied for a grid position in the FIA Formula One World Championship in November 2005. Since then, I have participated in the championship for 2 years and 4 months as the SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM, but regretfully I must inform you that the team will be ceasing its racing activities as of today.

“The team has competed against the many car manufacturer backed teams and has succeeded in obtaining the first points after only the 22nd race finishing in 9th place overall in the 2007 Constructors Championship. However, the breach of contract by the promised partner SS United Oil & Gas Company resulted in the loss of financial backing and immediately put the team into financial difficulties. Also, the change in direction of the environment surrounding the team, in terms of the use of customer chassis, has affected our ability to find partners.

“Meanwhile, with the help of Honda, we have somehow managed to keep the team going, but we find it difficult to establish a way to continue the activities in the future within the environment surrounding F1 and as a result, I have concluded to withdraw from the Championship.

“I would like to express my deepest thanks to Honda, Bridgestone, the sponsors, all the people who have given us advise during various situations over the past couple of years all the Team Staff who have kept their motivations high and always done their best, Anthony Davidson who has always pushed to the limit despite the very difficult conditions, Takuma Sato who has been with us from the very start and has always fought hard and led the team and lastly our fans from all over the world who have loyally supported the SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM.”


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