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Jefferies arrives in UAE

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ACE Zimbabwean motor racing driver Axcil Jefferies arrived in the United Arab Emirates yesterday ahead of the GP2 Series pre-season testing with the Italy-based Trident Racing Team at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi starting tomorrow.

DANIEL NHAKANISO

Trident Racing Team has already confirmed Johnny Cecotto Jr as one of their two drivers for the upcoming new season and are eager to sign Jefferies as their second driver.

Jeffries’ manager and father Suhail, however, told NewsDay Sport yesterday that although Axcil had already impressed the
Milan-based team his move was being stalled by lack of sponsorship.

“Axcil has arrived in Abu Dhabi for testing with Milan-based Team Trident ahead of the start of the new GP2 season. Testing starts on Tuesday (tomorrow) and tomorrow (today) he will be doing all the PR work and photography and seat fitting. He will also walk the track with the engineers to pick up pointers and familiarise himself with the track.   He was going to do three days, but it’s now been reduced to one-and-a-half days because the team is not confident we will raise sponsorship in time,” Suhail said yesterday.

“He has spent the past two weeks working on a simulator with the team and they are showing good faith and allowing him to practice as they wait on Zimbabwe to come up with support.

“Axcil has done more than expected on the simulator so the team feels he really deserves a chance in GP2. GP2 are now faster than the slower Formula One teams such as Caterham and Marrusia so he is at a very high level,” he said.

The managing director of Team Trident Racing GP2 Series Luca Zerbini recently wrote to Suhail expressing interest in signing Jefferies on condition that he secures sponsorship.

Jefferies was in the country last month in an attempt to engage the Zimbabwean government to help him make his dream into a reality.

The deputy sports minister Tabetha Kanengoni-Malinga pledged government’s support, stating that the ministry would do all it can to ensure that local corporates come to the aid of the young racer.
However, nothing is yet to materialise. Jefferies believes sponsors will have a lot to benefit from partnering him in his dream to eventually make it to the Formula One.

“Well, the platform is huge for sponsors and for the country. GP2 reaches over 125 million viewers worldwide,” Jefferies told NewsDay Sport in an interview recently.

“On average there are about 100 000 spectators at each event. Partners are able to attend race events and entertain their clients in the Formula 1 paddock and hospitality.

“It is a great opportunity for individuals to mingle with global business leaders, politicians, celebrities and Formula 1 drivers.

“These are just some of the many benefits a company can get from being involved. Most importantly it gives companies a chance to be involved in getting an Africa into Formula 1,” he said.

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