Sepang: Team Canada preview

McIntosh back for Canada as A1GP heads to Malaysia Wednesday 22 November, 2006 -- Sean McIntosh makes a welcome return to racing for A1 Team Canada this weekend as the Vancouver standout gets set to compete in Round 4 of the 2006-07 A1GP World...

McIntosh back for Canada as A1GP heads to Malaysia

Wednesday 22 November, 2006 -- Sean McIntosh makes a welcome return to racing for A1 Team Canada this weekend as the Vancouver standout gets set to compete in Round 4 of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, Friday 24th -- Sunday 26th November.

The 21-year-old returns to A1GP competition following an impressive rookie campaign over the summer months competing in the World Series by Renault. His first foray into European open-wheel racing, following two highly decorated seasons competing in the Formula Renault UK Championship, McIntosh sealed sixth overall in the World Series Driver Standings, the highest ranked Formula Renault 2.0 graduate from a 30-strong line-up of international talent.

Sunday's Malaysian event heralds Sean's first competitive starts in the sophomore season of A1GP, the series pitching nation against nation in identical 550bhp V8-powered A1GP cars throughout the winter, and his first full race weekend for Canada since leading the team to victory in Round 8 of the inaugural A1GP championship in Indonesia last February.

McIntosh's performance, racing from last to first in the Feature race, complete with the added inconvenience of a drive-through penalty, was undoubtedly one of the drives of the 2005-06 season and helped steer A1 Team Canada to a tenth place finish in the A1GP Nations Standings.

Sean arrives in Malaysia armed with the experience of last season's trip to the 5.54km Sepang International Circuit. A challenging outing last November saw the Canadian comfortably in the top-five throughout practice only to be caught out by the changing weather conditions in qualifying for Round 5. Having raced his way to 15th in the Sprint race, McIntosh's charge in the Feature was immediate as he climbed into the top-ten on the opening lap. Contact with the Italian entry put paid to Sean's top-five aspirations with Canada ending the weekend scoreless for the first time in A1GP.

"We demonstrated pace and potential in Malaysia last season," McIntosh stated prior to his return for A1 Team Canada. "The weather, which is always a factor at Sepang, caught us out a little in qualifying and as a result I was forced to fight from the back to get a decent grid slot for the Feature. The car was great in the race and I was pushing for fifth before our retirement!

He continued, "Hopefully this time round we'll see the checkered! Based on current form things look good and I'm excited to be back for Canada having fulfilled my World Series commitments."

Canada currently sits sixth in the A1GP Nations Standings with 16 points after the first three rounds of the 2006-07 season. Sean assumes race duties in Malaysia from Toronto's James Hinchcliffe, the 19-year-old rookie having led the team's charge in Holland, the Czech Republic and China to kick start the new campaign. In addition to scoring Canada's first podium since McIntosh's Indonesian triumph last season, with a second place finish in the Czech Sprint race last month, Hinchcliffe also leads the current competition in laps led with a total of 55 compared to Jeroen Bleekemolen's 48 for A1 Team Netherlands. A1 Team Mexico leads the points table over A1 Team Germany (24-22).

Sunday's Sprint race starts at 11am local time (10pm EST Saturday) with the Feature race starting at 3pm in Malaysia (2am EST Sunday). The races can be watched live in Canada or on demand later via the A1GP website -- www.a1gp.com.

-credit: www.a1teamcan.com

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Jeroen Bleekemolen , Sean McIntosh , James Hinchcliffe