JOS VERSTAPPEN UNVEILS NETHERLANDS' ENTRY TO THE WORLD CUP OF MOTORSPORT
Noordwijk, 5 September - The striking orange A1 car that will represent the Netherlands in the first World Cup of Motorsport was officially unveiled at the Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin in Noordwijk this evening to a crowd of press and public.
A1 Team Netherlands seat holder, Jan Lammers started the proceedings saying: 'For us, A1GP is the icing on the cake of the work by Racing for Holland over the past years. All our guys have worked like lions, and to be able to defend our country in this wonderful new series is a big honour. That's how we all look at it. Simply the intention to be fast is not enough, it is simply our duty.'
A1 Team Netherlands' main driver and ex-F1 star, Jos Verstappen said: 'I'm very excited about this new series, the races will be very close and I can go to the absolute maximum. There are a lot of very good drivers, racing for good teams. A1 Team Netherlands has become very competitive very quickly, especially at our last test session at Paul Ricard where we finished third. Our motto will be to give everything till the very last lap of the final race! For me, it is an enormous challenge and I hope that a lot of Dutch fans will support me on 25 September at Brands Hatch.'
Jeroen Bleekemolen, A1 Team Netherlands' reserve driver went on to say: 'For me it is of course an excellent opportunity to get some experience with single seaters after my years with Opel in the DTM. There I learned a lot and had to push myself against team mates like Heinz Harald Frentzen. Now this has repaid itself and the fact that I can be the reserve driver at the level of A1GP is a very big break. Jos, of course, is the ideal example, assisting me in a great way during the tests. I hope that I can help him collect data for the Team.'
With the stage set for A1 Team Netherlands to actively compete on the level playing field of motorsport which is A1 Grand Prix, the Series took the opportunity to confirm RTL as the host broadcast for the Netherlands. RTL will show A1GP live across the country. Director, Jaap Hofman said: 'I find this series very interesting. It is obvious that it is all about the driver and his ability. That is why I am very happy that Jos and Jeroen are on the Team. I am sure Jos will show what he is capable of.'
Concluding the ceremony, A1 Grand Prix Founder, President and Chairman, Sheikh Maktoum presented Dutch Olympic medallist and current Chairman of the Dutch Olympic Committee, Erica Terpstra with a scale model of the A1 Team Netherlands car.
Sheikh Maktoum commented: 'Wherever you are in the world, the colour orange is clearly recognisable as that of the Dutch sporting team so I am delighted to have such a bold car on the grid for the first World Cup of Motorsport. To me, it is an honour to have both Jan Lammers and Jos Verstappen involved in A1 Grand Prix. Jos has the largest fan base of any current racing driver and was responsible for making motorsport so hugely popular in the Netherlands. With Jos driving for A1 Team Netherlands, I am sure we will see a wave of orange as his supporters follow him to Brands Hatch, EuroSpeedway on 9 October, Estoril and beyond.'