Eastern Creek: Team France preview

Aiming for the top! A1 Team France has arrived in Australia where the sixth round of the 2007-2008 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport is taking place between 1st and 3rd February. Strategically speaking, it is a very important rendezvous for the...

Aiming for the top!

A1 Team France has arrived in Australia where the sixth round of the 2007-2008 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport is taking place between 1st and 3rd February. Strategically speaking, it is a very important rendezvous for the French squad, whose objective at the Eastern Creek International Speedway is to take over first place in the overall classification. After the two races in Taupo in New Zealand two weeks ago, the team has closed the gap to the leaders from 19 to 2 points. The recent performances of A1 Team France and its driver Loic Duval show that this aim is well within their capabilities. This weekend Jonathan Cochet will fill the role of rookie for the team, as Nicolas Prost has been retained in Europe for testing.

The Eastern Creek circuit was built to host the 1991 Motorcycle Grand Prix and is located around 40 minutes from Sydney. The A1GP teams know it well as it has been on the championship calendar since the start. In 2005/06 A1 Team France won both races and finished on the podium the following year. This weekend all the cars will again use fuel made up of 30% bio ethanol, a measure that has enabled A1GP to reduce CO2 emissions by around 21%. It is the first international championship to adopt such a technology. Olivier Panis, sporting director: "A1GP's arrival in Sydney marks the start of the second half of the 2007/08 championship. We've basically done a pretty good job since the beginning as our present classification shows, but now we want to up our performance another notch. This the right time to make the big push, and we're determined to take advantage of the slightest opportunity."

Loic Duval: "Since the start of the season we've been on the pace in almost all the events. Our consistency in the races has been exemplary and that's why we're in third place in the overall classification only two points behind New Zealand. It's very encouraging. The team's doing a great job; the ambience is very positive and we're determined to go for first place in the championship. If our efforts are crowned with a victory here it would be a fantastic bonus."

Jonathan Cochet: "As Nicolas Prost has been retained by testing in Europe, I'm really delighted to accept A1 Team France's invitation. I can't wait to get to grips with the car, which I've never driven in the past, and it is also my first outing on this circuit. My single-seater experience (F3, F3000 and F1 test driver) gives me a solid basis on which to tackle this meeting. It's a great challenge for me as the A1GP Championship is a top-level one and helping France in its quest for the title is a big honour."

-credit: a1tfr

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Series A1GP
Drivers Jonathan Cochet , Olivier Panis , Loic Duval , Nicolas Prost