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Minardi test for Chinese star Lee 23 Apr 2005

Race winner Marchy Lee (HKG) celebrates on the podium. Formula BMW Asia, Race, Shanghai, China, 25 September 2004. World © Moy/Sutton

Minardi have confirmed that Chinese driver, Marchy Lee Ying-Kin, will participate in the team’s upcoming test at the Mugello circuit, on April 27 and 28. Lee, who is the reigning Formula BMW Asia Champion, will join Minardi race drivers Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher, and test driver, Chanoch Nissany.

The team will take two of its latest Minardi Cosworth PS05 chassis to the test, as well as a single PS04B, the latter for comparative purposes and tyre evaluation. As a result of his participation in the test, Lee, who won 12 of 15 races on his way to the Formula BMW Asia title, will become the first Chinese-domiciled driver to sample a current Formula One car.

Minardi Team Principal, Paul Stoddart, commented: "We have been keeping an eye on Marchy's progress for some time, and are pleased to be able to give him his first taste of Formula One performance next week. It will also give the team a chance to have a close look at him in terms of possible Formula One potential.

“Following last year's inaugural, and hugely successful, Chinese Grand Prix, I'm sure this test will generate considerable interest among Formula One fans in China and help to raise the profile of the sport there still further."

Despite having Nissany on their books as a test driver, Minardi are one of only two eligible teams yet to take up the option of running a third car in Friday practice sessions at Grands Prix this year.