Eastern Creek: Series preview

A1GP Heads to Australia for Round Six Sydney, Australia -- The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport 2007/08 title race is closer than ever as the thrilling nation versus nation series enters the second half of the season. Remaining in the Southern ...

A1GP Heads to Australia for Round Six

Sydney, Australia -- The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport 2007/08 title race is closer than ever as the thrilling nation versus nation series enters the second half of the season. Remaining in the Southern Hemisphere, the championship heads to Australia's Eastern Creek International Raceway near Sydney for round six on 1-3 February.

THINK Greener Racing: The series made history last time out in Taupo as all 22 national teams competing in the fifth round of the championship took to the track with biofuel in their tanks. The historic event marked A1GP as the first truly global motorsport series to race with biofuel in its tanks and is the cornerstone of an ambitious series of initiatives to help reduce its environmental footprint.

This weekend's A1GP Eastern Creek event is a landmark event for host nation Australia too, as New South Wales will become the first Australian state to host a motorsport event with cars running on biofuel. Premier Morris Iemma praised the initiative and said New South Wales was leading Australia in using ethanol blended fuels.

'This is a fantastic initiative by A1GP,' he said. 'I wholeheartedly commend its move towards ensuring that the environmental impacts of the series are as minimal as possible. Biofuels, such as ethanol, are much healthier for our environment than conventional fuels. In October last year I introduced a two percent ethanol mandate which will ensure that ethanol makes up a minimum of two percent of total fuel sales in NSW.'

Host nation celebrates Australia Day: A1 Team Australia's recently confirmed lead driver, John Martin, was in Sydney at the weekend to help kick start his nation's annual festivities in and around Hyde Park. Australia Day falls on 26 January and is the biggest day of celebration in the country, observed as a public holiday in all states and territories.

A1 Team Australia currently lies 18th in the championship standings, having scored four points so far this season, finishing ninth in the Sepang Feature race and the Taupo Sprint race. Martin has experience of the Eastern Creek circuit from his Formula Ford days and is aiming for a strong result in front of his home crowd this weekend.

'I just need to qualify better so I don't end up in the mess down the field,' Martin said. 'Hopefully Eastern Creek will be better for that and we can qualify towards the front and we'll see what happens. I've been to Eastern Creek before so I know the circuit which is a bit of a bonus -- I don't have to learn that as well and it should be a good weekend for us.'

Martin finds the track challenging to drive but incredibly enjoyable too:

'It's a great track to challenge you into a fast left hander at the end of the main straight and the lift over the bridge as power down is awesome. The overall balance with the combination of left and right hand turns will keep the engineers on their toes as much as the drivers.'

A1GP engines hit quarter of a million miles: A1GP engines, built by Zytek Motorsport, have now covered a combined total of a quarter of a million racing miles. The historic landmark was reached over the weekend at A1GP Taupo, New Zealand, round five of the 2007/08 season. Since the inception of the series in 2005, A1GP engines have raced an impressive 255,173 miles and not failed once.

Pre-event PR activity: The pre-event PR activity for the Sydney race weekend will take place on Thursday (31 January) morning at Oceanworld in Manly and Sydney Wildlife World in Darling Harbour. A small group of drivers will be scuba diving with sharks, rays and giant turtles at Oceanworld while the majority will be handling some of Australia's most famous native and 'dangerous' creatures at the Wildlife World.

Drivers from the following nations will be taking part in the event: Australia, Brazil, Germany, Great Britain, India, Ireland, Italy, Lebanon, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa.

Information on copyright free television footage and still images from the event can be found on the media website at www.A1GP.com/press.

About Eastern Creek circuit: Built and owned by the New South Wales Government to host the 1991 Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, Eastern Creek International Raceway is the only international race circuit in Sydney. It is currently operated by the Australian Racing Drivers Club (ARDC).

Located just 40 minutes from the centre of Sydney, Eastern Creek is the hub of motorsport in New South Wales, combining the world's largest karting facility and Australia's leading drag racing complex. Eastern Creek International Raceway plays host to a number of Australian motorsport's biggest events, including annual rounds of the Australian V8 Supercar Championship and classic motorcycle racing.

Eastern Creek offers motorsport fans and competitors a year-round world standard motor racing facility, including a 4,000 seat covered grandstand overlooking the start/finish line and providing a view of 80 per cent of the circuit. The pit facilities provide 52 roll-in/roll-out garages, all with power and immediate access to the support paddock area. The air-conditioned suites have closed circuit TV, computerised lap scoring screens and their balconies overlook the start/finish line, main straight and pit lane. The roof of the pit building is capable of hosting a further 1,500 corporate guests in marquee-style suites.

Track length: 3.93 km (2.44 miles)

Lap record: 1m19.142s, recorded by Nico Hulkenberg, A1 Team Germany, February 2007

The A1GP Sydney, Australia event runs from 1-3 February, kicking off with the rookie driver and developing nations' sessions on Friday morning from 11.00 to 11.25 and again from 11.35 to 12.00. All 22 teams can take part in the later practice session from 14.00 to 15.00. Final practice and qualifying for the Sprint and Feature race will take place on Saturday with the two races scheduled to run on Sunday at 11.00 and 15.00 respectively.

-credit: a1gp.com

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Nico Hulkenberg , John Martin