A1 TEAM IRELAND REVEALS DRIVER FOR FIRST A1 GRAND PRIX OF NATIONS
Dublin, 15 September - A1 Team Ireland's entry to the first-ever World Cup of Motorsport was revealed today amid a spectacular smoke and light display at the Royal Dublin Society's Concert Hall. In a high-profile ceremony, the Irish green car was unveiled to the country's top dignitaries including the Irish government's Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Department of An Taoiseach, Tom Kitt before it makes its public debut at the Irish Motor Show tomorrow.
A1 Team Ireland's Team Principal, Mark Gallagher spoke of the significance of including Ireland in the global A1 Grand Prix series. "Although we face stiff opposition from some of the world's largest nations as well as countries with highly developed motorsport industries, the fact that A1GP provides teams with a level playing field in terms of the car and technology means that the difference between winning and losing will be decided by driver ability, quality of engineering, team-work and race strategy. In each of these areas we are strong and to emerge fastest on the final day of the major pre-season test in Paul Ricard, France, demonstrated our potential. I am confident we have built a team capable of challenging for victories in the inaugural A1 Grand Prix series"
Announcing that 20 year-old Michael Devaney will make his race debut in the opening round of the A1 Grand Prix series at Brands Hatch on 25 September, Chief Executive of A1 Team Ireland Mark Kershaw explained the Team's philosophy on driver choice. "We are fortunate in Ireland to possess a small but highly talented group of drivers on which to draw for A1 Team Ireland. In Ralph Firman - A1 Team Ireland's main driver - we have someone who has not only won at every level of the sport but also raced in Formula One and is currently one of Team Honda Racing's leading drivers in the Japanese SuperGT series. When we signed him we knew he had conflicting commitments in the first and fourth rounds of the A1 Grand Prix series, so we are fortunate to have a rising star such as Michael Devaney to drive for the team in Brands Hatch. The World Cup of Motorsport is an innovative and exciting concept and in A1 Team Ireland we have the talent to compete for success."
Devaney, who currently lies second in the German Formula 3 Championship said: "Naturally I am delighted to drive for the Team at Brands Hatch and I'd like to thank A1 Team Ireland for giving me the opportunity to demonstrate my ability against top international competitors. Every driver wants to be given a break like this and A1 Grand Prix enables countries such as Ireland to develop their drivers at international level. I am really looking forward to racing in A1GP."
Speaking at the launch of A1 Team Ireland, A1 Grand Prix Founder, President and Chairman, Sheikh Maktoum said: 'Ireland has a strong tradition of competition in high-level international motorsport that will continue with A1 Team Ireland's entry to the World Cup of Motorsport. With the backing of Mark Kershaw, PJ Fallon and Mark Gallagher - all renowned for their motorsport expertise, and a bit of the traditional Irish luck, I am sure that A1 Team Ireland will do their country proud when the inaugural A1 Grand Prix of Nations takes to the grid at Brands Hatch next week.'