Durban: Team Canada preview

Canada Sends Wickens and Morad to Durban Montreal, Canada -- A1 Team Canada welcomes 17-year-old Daniel Morad to its driver line-up this weekend as the team heads to South Africa and the streets of Durban for Round 7 of the 2007-08 A1GP World...

Canada Sends Wickens and Morad to Durban

Montreal, Canada -- A1 Team Canada welcomes 17-year-old Daniel Morad to its driver line-up this weekend as the team heads to South Africa and the streets of Durban for Round 7 of the 2007-08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, Friday 22nd -- Sunday 24th February. Morad will make his debut for Canada in Friday morning's 'Rookie-Only' session before handing over to Toronto's Robert Wickens for the remainder of the weekend.

Wickens remains in the race seat in South Africa having collected three podiums in just eight starts in the open-wheel racing, nation versus nation series. Last time out in Australia Wickens steered Canada to its first double-points score in over a year, the 2006 Formula BMW Champion collecting a magnificent third place Sprint finish from 15th on the grid before claiming sixth in the Feature race.

In doing so the 18-year-old helped break Canada into the top-ten of the A1GP Nations Standings for the first time this season -- the team now aiming to cement a top-ten finish for the second time in three seasons having finished tenth overall in the inaugural 2005-06 season. With Round 6 in Australia marking Wickens' seventh and eighth straight A1GP starts, he surrendered his rookie status making him ineligible to participate in Friday morning's hour-long 'Rookie-Only' session.

As a result Canada now turns to 2007 Formula BMW USA Champion Daniel Morad to fulfill rookie duties. The Markham, Ontario-born racer will make his debut in the 550bhp A1GP car on the demanding 3.38km temporary street circuit in Durban. Morad is no stranger to street courses having sampled a few in North America over the past two seasons competing in Formula BMW. The promising Canadian lifted rookie honors in the series in 2006 before going on to dominate last season's title battle, Morad winning the championship with a series record of six victories.

"I'm really excited to be making my A1GP debut in South Africa," said Morad. "I'm grateful to A1 Team Canada for this opportunity and I intend to make the most of my time in the car on Friday morning. The team's firmly on a roll at the moment and I hope my input well help maintain their form and aid Robbie's progress when he takes over in the afternoon's practice session. I'm used to the challenge of learning street courses quickly so I can't wait to get going in Durban."

Wickens is equally excited about the thought of tackling A1GP's sole street circuit. "I've always run pretty well on street circuits in both Formula BMW and in Atlantics last season. I'm looking forward to sampling the Durban track for myself. From what I've seen of it already it's a fairly narrow configuration but I'll obviously have a better feel for it after Friday's practice session. It was great to finally score points in both races in Australia; hopefully we can maintain that level of consistency!"

The South African track hasn't been kind to Canada in two previous visits, Sean McIntosh's tenth place Feature finish in 2006 the strongest finish to-date, something Wickens will be keen to best on Sunday.

Sunday's 20-minute Sprint race starts at 11am local time (4am EST) with the 70-minute Feature race starting at 3pm in Durban (8am EST).

Setanta Sports Canada will broadcast Round 7 from South Africa as a tape-delay starting at 8:30am EST on Monday 25th February.

-credit: a1teamcan.com

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Sean McIntosh , Robert Wickens , Daniel Morad