Taupo: Team Monaco preview

A1 Team Monaco - Ready to Get Back On Track in Taupo Monaco, 19 January 2009: After a long mid-season gap between races, A1 Team Monaco is ready to "get back on track" and has arrived in New Zealand, refreshed and ready to go! Round four of...

A1 Team Monaco - Ready to Get Back On Track in Taupo

Monaco, 19 January 2009: After a long mid-season gap between races, A1 Team Monaco is ready to "get back on track" and has arrived in New Zealand, refreshed and ready to go!

Round four of the 2008/9 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport (23-25 January 2009) will be held at the new Taupo Motorsport Park racetrack complex. The new development is being built on the original site used for the existing Taupo Car Club. The old 1.4 kilometre circuit underwent an upgrade and lengthening to create the new international layout in 2006.

The complex now also includes a motorsport business park and driver and training centre. The track includes three alternative track configurations, with two separate pit areas and start/finish lanes to allow simultaneous use of two tracks. The international circuit, used for the A1GP series, is 3.32 kilometres (2.06 miles) with 14 corners. It features an 830-metre straight, which also doubles as a drag strip, and was altered slightly for 2008 with a tighter chicane introduced at the end of the back straight. This was instrumental in providing more overtaking opportunities at last season's event.

The Lake Taupo District, on the country's North Island, is a vibrant region with a diverse range of resources including forestry, agriculture and recreational attractions. In addition to stunning scenery, the area is rapidly developing a reputation as a top event destination, with an all year program of sporting events and festivals.

In proximity to Tongariro National Park and the Whakapapa ski fields, the stunning sights of the Lake Taupo District make it one of the country's most popular visitor destinations, attracting over one million visitors per year.

Clivio Piccione, Driver and Seat-Holder, A1 Team Monaco: "I arrived in Taupo last week and am enjoying the beautiful area, acclimatising since the long journey from Europe. The last race was disappointing as we retired with a mechanical issue, so we must do everything we can to be at the front of the grid again. I hope during the second half of the season we will be able to step up a level in terms of our achievements. The team has prepared for the Taupo Motorsport Park by studying data and watching video footage from last year's race. The circuit is narrow like a go kart track, so there will be some very close racing. I cannot wait to get back in to the cockpit - there has been something missing in my life since Malaysia!"

Graham Taylor, Team Principal, A1 Team Monaco: "It has been a long time since we were in Sepang and we cannot wait to get started again. The team will pick up from where we left off in 2008, but I am expecting a relative increase in performance for the start of 2009. I saw the first three A1GP events as our introduction to the championship and now we should be fully up to speed and able to show our true potential. With the disappointment of retirement at the last event, we are very much looking forward to getting back to racing."

-credit: monaco

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Series A1GP
Drivers Clivio Piccione