Durban: Team Czech preview

Josef Kral to race for Czech team Josef Kral is going to fight for the Czech colours in the A1GP. His debut is scheduled to Durban, South Africa. Only seventeen years old driver replaces Tomas Enge, who has together with Erik Janis raced for...

Josef Kral to race for Czech team

Josef Kral is going to fight for the Czech colours in the A1GP. His debut is scheduled to Durban, South Africa. Only seventeen years old driver replaces Tomas Enge, who has together with Erik Janis raced for the Czech team in the current season. Tomas, a factory Aston Martin driver, is busier with development of the cars and Erik has been fully focusing on his preparations for the Euro F3 series debut. Josef Kral successfully raced in the Formula BMW in the last two seasons.

The young Czech raced in the German series for Jiri Micanek's team in 2006 and last year shined in the Double R team of Kimi Raikkonen and Steve Robertson in the UK series. He was runner-up. He successfully tested also an F3 single-seater for the team of the F1 champion.

Before moving abroad Josef was 3rd in the Czech National Formula championship (2005) and had won three Czech kart championships. He tasted also powerful touring cars last year when he was invited to take part in an endurance race of the International Czech championship. He shared an Audi A4 DTM with Milan Maderyc and Thed Bjork.

Josef (www.josefkral.cz) was second among circuit drivers in the Czech Golden Wheel 2007 and won the category for youngsters up to the age of 23 years.

Durban circuit is going to be Josef's second experience with a street track. He tasted only the famous Norisring in Germany. Narrow South African track lays on the coast of the Indian Ocean and is 3280 metres long with 11 corners. The track record owns the current Formula 1 driver Nelsinho Piquet with 1:18.178 that sent in January 2006.

Josef Kral: "It is great news for me! It is going to be my entry to a new single-seater world and I am really looking forward to it. It will be quite tough debut for me but I hope to do the best possible job. Basically everything will be new. I have never driven such powerful formula car but I have never had any problems with moving up to more horsepower. I got used to an F3 car after very quickly for example and also few laps with an Audi A4 at Most were enough to set comparable times with the Swedish touring car specialist Thed Bjork. I have raced only once on a street track it was at Norisring. It was extra adrenalin and that's something what I like. I hope that I will cope with everything at Durban and will finish the season for the Czech colours. I am also looking forward to it because I would like to learn Chinese GP track at Shanghai and I would also like to drive on a beautiful track at Brands Hatch, which I know very well from my racing in the Formula BMW and F3 testing. I would like to thank my management team and Antonin Charouz that I have got such a chance. I do not want to disappoint them."

Antonin Charouz, Seat holder: "Josef Kral's management team sent an offer to me and our agreement about the starts in the A1GP is the result. One of possibilities of my entry to his career was also possibility to race in our I.S.R. team in the International Formula Masters series, however, it has not happened in the end. Filip Salaquarda did not reach an agreement in the Champcar Atlantic series in the very last moment and he will drive in the IFM. It seems that Josef's arrival in our A1GP team has a perfect timing. Tomas Enge has been more and more busy with development of the factory Aston Martin GT cars. Erik Janis has been preparing for the F3 Euroseries season and is currently in the Mercedes-Benz driver training camp. His brother Jarek is not fit yet and my son Jan has commitments with development and preparation of our new Lola Aston martin prototype for the Le mans Series and 24 hours Le Mans. Josef has shown his speed in the Formula BMW and I am confident that he will get used soon to much powerful A1GP single-seater."

-credit: czech/bpa.cz

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen , Tomas Enge , Thed Björk , Erik Janis , Josef Kral , Antonin Charouz , Filip Salaquarda