A1 Grand Prix introduces A3 racing series

A1 INTRODUCES THE VOLKSWAGEN A3 RACING SERIES IN SOUTH AFRICA Johannesburg, 24 May -- Future motorsport stars wanting to represent their nation in the World Cup of Motorsport now have an exciting new feeder series in which to sharpen their...

A1 INTRODUCES THE VOLKSWAGEN A3 RACING SERIES IN SOUTH AFRICA

Johannesburg, 24 May -- Future motorsport stars wanting to represent their nation in the World Cup of Motorsport now have an exciting new feeder series in which to sharpen their skills as A1 Grand Prix and Volkswagen South Africa joined forces to launch the first Volkswagen A3 Racing Series in South Africa today.

A stepping-stone to the international A1 Grand Prix series, the Volkswagen A3 Racing Series will give young drivers the chance to develop the physical and mental skills needed to compete on a global level. Training will cover everything from race strategy, data acquisition and analysis and driver skills through to driver nutrition, physical fitness and sports psychology.

Launching the Volkswagen A3 Racing Series, A1 Grand Prix Founder, President and Chairman Sheikh Maktoum said, "I'm delighted to launch A3 as a feeder series to develop future A1 drivers for the inaugural World Cup of Motorsport and I'm proud to have the first series in South Africa. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the South African government for their support in building the A3 Racing Series which will develop national African talent alongside international drivers.

"The stars of tomorrow, who will carry the pride of their nation when competing in their A1 team will learn the skills needed to race competitively on a national and international stage. By providing a platform for driver development, A3 will reduce any disparities that may exist when teams from emerging motorsport countries compete against traditional racing nations, guaranteeing exciting high-level races for A1 Grand Prix.

"A1 Grand Prix's deal with Volkswagen and partnership with Macdonald Motorsport will see the first carbon-fibre single-seat race car manufacturing facility set up in South Africa, developing motorsport manufacturing engineers, technicians and mechanics. All future A3 Racing cars will be manufactured in South Africa, a country which already enjoys a vast and successful automotive manufacturing industry. The Volkswagen A3 Racing Series not only shows A1's commitment to develop drivers from all nations but also shows our commitment to invest in South Africa'. Volkswagen A3 Racing Series' Operations Director Alan Macdonald explained the structure of the training programme.

"We'll run driver training and testing during the week and follow up with races at various circuits around South Africa at the weekend. Drivers will participate in three separate 10-day training sessions, including two A3 race weekends run to the A1 Grand Prix format. Mid-week, drivers will get the chance to experience more powerful racing cars, bridging the gap between A3 and A1. A controlled unified environment will allow us to assess the individual driver's skill level which in turn gives us the opportunity to assess when they are ready to step up into the higher powered cars."

Mike Glendinning from Volkswagen South Africa, co-title sponsors of the A3 Racing Series added, "We are excited about this South African initiative and Volkswagen's involvement in this programme. We are proud to be a part of a programme that will develop drivers and technicians in South Africa that will go on to compete and hopefully excel in A1 Grand Prix and global motorsport. Word of mouth suggests that all who have heard about the Series are very positive. The controlling body of motorsport in South Africa, the MSA, have welcomed the Volkswagen A3 Racing Series with open arms, as have the other series that will operate as "feeder formulas' to the series."

-a1gp-

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Series A1GP
Drivers Sheikh Maktoum