Newsletter 2006-04-21

A1 Grand Prix Newsletter Friday 21 April Countdown to Season Two: 23 weeks Additional grandstands needed to meet demand at Zandvoort The second season of A1 Grand Prix has already got off to a flying start, with tickets for the first race...

A1 Grand Prix Newsletter
Friday 21 April

Countdown to Season Two: 23 weeks

Additional grandstands needed to meet demand at Zandvoort

The second season of A1 Grand Prix has already got off to a flying start, with tickets for the first race in the Netherlands on 1 October, selling quickly. Additional grandstand tickets released this week have already been snapped up by enthusiastic fans, with over 50,000 tickets sold so far.

Grandstand tickets for the race at Zandvoort Circuit Park sold out in just five days, leaving event organisers trying to increase grandstand capacity. At a meeting with A1 Grand Prix last week, management at the Zandvoort circuit and A1 Team Netherlands agreed to build extra grandstands to help address the shortfall in spectator seating and increase the capacity of others.

Several thousand additional grandstand tickets were put on sale on the A1 Grand Prix web site on Tuesday 18 April and these extra tickets have continued to sell quickly.

A huge number of Dutch fans will now be keen to purchase General Admission tickets and get a place in the Dunes for a great view of the A1 Cars in action around the Dutch circuit, which regularly hosts the Marlboro Master International Formula 3 and the DTM series.

Speaking about his team's home race, Jan Lammers, seatholder of A1 Team Netherlands said, 'I'm delighted that A1 Grand Prix has been received so enthusiastically in Holland, and the huge support that A1 Team Netherlands has here is reflected in the overwhelming demand we have seen for race tickets. The Zandvoort circuit and community, together with A1 Team Netherlands and A1 Grand Prix are putting together a great event for the whole weekend, with parties and events all over the city. I can't wait for October when we have the chance to race in front of grandstands packed with patriotic fans.'

Devaney to guest star in Porsche Carrera Cup GB

A1 Team Ireland driver Michael Devaney has been chosen by Porsche Cars GB to be its guest driver for the second round of the 2006 Porsche Carrera Cup GB to be held at Mondello Park.

The Carrera cup will be in Ireland to support the British Touring Car Championship which will take place this weekend at the historic Kildare circuit.

Devaney has only recently returned from China where he finished fourth in the Sprint race of the A1 Grand Prix of Nations, Shanghai, China, before a spectacular accident finished his Feature race. However, he is keen to get on with things and relishes the opportunity to drive the Vertu-backed 997-model Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car which will be his first experience of sporstcar racing.

Commenting on the exciting news, Michael said, "I have always been keen to take part in motorsport no matter what form, after being part of what has been a fantastic season of A1GP racing this has come at an ideal time where I can practice my racing skills. A1GP has provided some of the closest racing ever seen and having seen the Carrera Cup before on TV I know I can expect a similar story here this weekend."

Sutil still at the sharp end in Japan

A1 Team Germany's Adrian Sutil failed to notch up a further win in his TOM'S Racing Dallara at the second round of the All-Japan Formula 3 Championship at Suzuka last weekend to add to the pair the 23-year-old scored at the opening round, but a fifth place finish followed by a third leaves him ranking second overall behind Kazuya Oshima.

Jonny Reid, sometime racer for A1 Team New Zealand, claimed the point for sixth place in his Inging Motorsport Dallara in the first of the two races, but failed to score in the second.

In the crack British Formula 3 Championship, A1 Grand Prix double race winner Salvador Duran was out of luck. The 20-year-old star of A1 Team Mexico's line-up qualified his Hitech Racing in the top-10 for the Oulton Park opener but dropped out after only a lap of the first race with clutch failure.

Then, starting from the back of the 23-car field in the second race, he could progress only as far as 18th place as the late Ayrton Senna's nephew Bruno collected the plaudits and headlines for taking victory in both races.

A1 Grand Prix's Enge a man in demand

Tomas Enge, winner of the final Feature Race of the inaugural A1 Grand Prix season for A1 Team Czech Republic at the Shanghai International Circuit, is fast filling his summer diary with a tasty assortment of race drives.

The 29-year-old Czech will be competing for Cheever Racing in the Indy Racing League event at Motegi in Japan this weekend, standing in for an otherwise occupied team owner Eddie Cheever. As well as this, Enge has a sportscar programme with the works Aston Martin team that will see him racing in assorted rounds of the American Le Mans Series as well as in the classic Le Mans 24 Hours.

In addition, Enge may race Cheever's second entry in the Indianapolis 500 and also has his eyes on a programme of racing in the endurance rounds of the Australian Supercar V8 series at Sandown and Bathurst for the Britek/Fujitsu Racing Ford Falcon team.

Another driver with an A1 Grand Prix connection, Alex Lloyd -- reserve driver for A1 Team Great Britain -- has just signed on the dotted line for a full campaign in the Indy Pro Series with AFS Racing following an impressive debut for the team in the season-opener at St Petersburg in which he finished second.

Reliability a highlight in the first season of A1 Grand Prix

As attention turns to the second season of A1 Grand Prix, one of the main achievements to be taken from the first season is the amazing reliability of the A1 Cars. Providing exciting and close racing, with thrilling overtaking manoeuvres in every race, the A1 Cars have shown near 100 per cent reliability. This is testament to the technology and people that have helped run the cars over the 11 race season. During the inaugural season, the A1 Cars have travelled over 40,000 miles around the world and raced 102,905 miles on five continents.

11,000 tyres alone have been transported to the 11 A1 races. The A1 teams use 700 tyres over the course of a wet race and 500 over a dry race. Each tyre will cover 100 -- 150 miles before it has to be changed. On top of the bodywork on the 50 original A1 cars, an extra 87 nose cones and 94 front wings have been used during the 2005/06 season.

By the end of the season, the A1 engines had covered 102,905 miles and completed 1,182,762 gearshifts, all with near perfect reliability and no engine failures. After the 11 races, over 70 drivers had passed through the doors of A1GP, driving for 25 teams, using 2,820 PowerBoosts and 76,594 litres of fuel.

New Franchise holders line up for Series Two

There are still more than five months to go before the second A1 Grand Prix series kicks off at Zandvoort, Holland on 1 October, but at least seven or eight countries are lining up their bids to be part of the action, including aspiring teams from countries in Europe, Asia and South America.

While the identity of the nations competing in A1 Grand Prix season two remains undisclosed, so does the race calendar, save for the opening round in Holland. "We plan to have between 10 and 12 rounds again," says Chief Operating Officer David Clare, "but we're in discussion with 17-18 potential venues at the moment. I reckon that we will probably introduce two to three new venues in addition to Zandvoort joining us. There may even be a night race, too.

"The calendar for season two ought to be announced in the next few weeks and all I can say for definite right now is that season two is going to be every bit as global as season one."

A1 Team Great Britain drop Arden for season two

Despite ranking third overall in the inaugural A1 Grand Prix series, A1 Team Great Britain has told Arden International that it will not be requiring its services for the second A1 Grand Prix series that kicks off at Zandvoort in Holland on 1 October.

"We were pleased with third overall," said Team Principal John Surtees, "but you go racing to win, not come third. There's no doubt that we were beaten by two extremely good teams, but Seat Holder Tony Clements and I felt that A1 Grand Prix is big enough and important enough to warrant the services of a team that gives A1 Grand Prix its full attention. Arden are an extremely professional and very well managed team, but their involvement with both GP2 and the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team made for the occasional conflicts of interest, such as personnel allocation and A1 Team GBR management believes A1 Grand Prix should not be subordinated to other series. We had an option with Arden to sign up for Series Two, which we decided not to exercise".

For Series Two, A1 Team Great Britain will form its own team of personnel to run its car rather than paying an established team to do the job.

-a1gp-

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Jan Lammers , Tomas Enge , Eddie Cheever , Ayrton Senna , Alex Lloyd , Salvador Duran , John Surtees , Adrian Sutil , Michael Devaney , Jonny Reid , David Clare
Teams Red Bull Racing , Arden International