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iSport to run Al Fardan in Asia Series.


iSport International will be backed by Gulf Finance House in the second GP2 Asia Series - and beyond - after confirming the first half of its line-up for the winter championship which begins at the Chinese Grand Prix in October.

The deal sees GFH, one of the most successful Islamic investment banks in the Middle East, enter into a partnership with current GP2 Series champion in what is thought to be the biggest-ever sponsorship deal in the history of the Formula One feeder series. Based in Bahraini capital Manama, GFH has a previous involvement in motorsport, but is keen to widen its sponsorship portfolio as motorsport builds on its popularity both in the kingdom and the region as a whole.

The deal will see iSport run Bahraini national Hamad Al Fardan in the 2008-09 GP2 Asia Series. Al Fardan will be the first Arab driver to compete at anything like GP2 level when he makes his debut at the Shanghai International Circuit on 18-19 October, the 21-year-old having previously raced in FBMW, Toyota Racing Series and both the British and German F3 championships.

“We are very excited to be teaming up with GFH," iSport boss Paul Jackson commented, "It is a very important development for the team which will help us to keep moving forward in the GP2 series.

“We are also delighted to be working with Hamad Al Fardan in what we hope will be a successful campaign to make him the first Arab GP2 champion. He is a very talented young driver and, hopefully, we can help develop him into a future Formula One star.”

Al Fardan admitted that he was thrilled to be joining as successful a team as iSport, which won the regular GP2 'summer' championship with Timo Glock in 2007 and made Bruno Senna a frontrunner in the inaugural Asia Series.

“I am really excited about joining iSport - racing in GP2 with the current champions will be a dream come true and the next step on my road to Formula One," he said, "Of course, my target is to win the championship, but I know there will be some very strong opposition, so I am looking forward to working with the team and I am sure we will achieve good results."


Related Pictures

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Hamad Al Fardan (BRN), Performance Racing Europe Dallara Mugen Honda
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) in pit lane at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Pierre Gasly (FRA, EQ8 Caterham Racing) in pit lane at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
The car of Pierre Gasly (FRA, EQ8 Caterham Racing) is retrieved after a first lap accident at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Rio Haryanto (INA, EQ8 Caterham Racing) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Rio Haryanto (INA, EQ8 Caterham Racing) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) crosses the line at the end of race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates in parc ferme after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates in parc ferme after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates with team mate Stephane Richelmi (MON, DAMS) celebrates after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates with his father Jonathan after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Race winner Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) & runner-up Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) celebrate with champagne after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) sprays champagne on the podium after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) & Stephane Richelmi (MON, DAMS) on the podium after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)

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