Shanghai: Team Canada preview

McIntosh and Lacroix Prepare for Chinese Challenge Wednesday 11 April, 2007 -- The Shanghai International Circuit in China plays host to the penultimate round of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport this weekend, 13th-15th April, with A1...

McIntosh and Lacroix Prepare for Chinese Challenge

Wednesday 11 April, 2007 -- The Shanghai International Circuit in China plays host to the penultimate round of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport this weekend, 13th-15th April, with A1 Team Canada seeking to use the event to break back into the top-ten of the A1GP Nations Standings fielding Coquitlam's Sean McIntosh behind the wheel for Sunday's Sprint and Feature races.

With just eight points the difference between Canada, sitting 11th overall, and Mexico in eighth (36-28), there's plenty left to play for heading into the penultimate round of the winter-based, nation versus nation open-wheel racing championship, the Canadian team eager to better last season's inaugural tenth place standing.

The team arrived in the Jiading District of Shanghai this week with 21-year-old Sean McIntosh returning to the A1GP Series for the first time since Round 5 in Indonesia last December. McIntosh, to-date the only Canadian driver to have graced the top stop of an A1GP podium having won in Indonesia last season, assumes steering duties for Sunday's races from Toronto's James Hinchcliffe, 'Hinch' now concentrating on his 2007 Champ Car Atlantic Championship campaign, with Quebec's Kevin Lacroix continuing to participate in Friday morning's 'Rookie-Only' session.

While both McIntosh and Lacroix will make their debuts at the ultra-modern Shanghai International Circuit, home of the Chinese Grand Prix, A1 Team Canada arrives armed with the experience of last season's round at the Hermann Tilke-designed facility. On that occasion, the grand finale of the inaugural A1GP season, Patrick Carpentier piloted the Canadian entry to a seventh place Feature finish having been forced out of the Sprint race following contact from behind by the Swiss entry.

Fitting for a Grand Prix venue, last April's A1GP races in Shanghai were won by former Formula One drivers with ex-Minardi racer Alex Yoong triumphing for Malaysia in the Sprint race before former Prost Grand Prix entrant Tomas Enge won the Feature race for the Czech Republic.

"I've been doing my bit on the PlayStation learning the track layout so I know what to expect when I get there," McIntosh commented ahead of his real track debut at the weekend. "I missed out on competing there last season due to a date-clash with my World Series by Renault activities but I'm really pleased to get the opportunity to compete in China and look forward to working with the team to get us back into the top-ten in the standings."

Kevin Lacroix, runner-up in the 2006 Star Mazda Championship, looks to build on his rookie experiences having worked with the team in the previous rounds in South Africa and Mexico. "I'm learning more about the car each time I run," stated the 18-year-old from Saint Eustache. "The more seat time I get the happier I am, I just wish the rookie session was longer than an hour. I'm excited to be running on another F1 circuit and hopefully my performances will lead to a shot at the race seat!"

-credit: team canada

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Series A1GP
Drivers Tomas Enge , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Yoong , Sean McIntosh , Kevin Lacroix , James Hinchcliffe