SYDNEY - November 4, 2005: With today's announcement that iconic Australian brand, Foster's, has taken the Official Sponsor rights to A1 Team Australia, the antipodean team has moved into pole position in the sponsorship race for A1 Grand ...
SYDNEY - November 4, 2005: With today's announcement that iconic Australian brand, Foster's, has taken the Official Sponsor rights to A1 Team Australia, the antipodean team has moved into pole position in the sponsorship race for A1 Grand Prix.
"This is truly a momentous announcement," said Seat Holder for A1 Team Australia, 1980 World Formula One Champion, Alan Jones. "Foster's can see the A1 Grand Prix concept and what we're achieving here and it makes for a really nice fit - the company and it's products are synonymous with Australia."
The partnership between A1 Team Australia and Foster's is initially until the end of the first A1 Grand Prix season, which concludes on April 2, 2006 at the Shanghai International Circuit in China and one that A1 Team Australia CEO, Roy Pater, hopes will be for the long term.
"This is the first time that Foster's have been on a car in something like 16 years," said Pater. "With A1 Grand Prix visiting many of Foster's key markets in the remainder of this season, it will give both of us several key opportunities to leverage the partnership."
On the track, A1 Team Australia was hampered by the changeable conditions today, with Christian Jones charged with bedding in a new gearbox in the first one-hour session. As he was about to set his fastest laps, the heavens opened dampening the track.
Under A1 Grand Prix rules, A1 Team Australia is unable to change tyres between sessions, meaning the tyres that Will Davison had to use in his one-hour session were less than perfect, the team, however are looking forward to tomorrow.
"We have made some great steps forward with the car on tyres that were well past their use by date, we aren't as far off as the times would indicate," Davison said.
"It was unfortunate it rained during my session," said Christian Jones. "I had done five or six laps bedding in the gearbox and then when I was about to go for it, it began raining so we didn't get as much track time as we would have liked."
The mixed conditions coupled with the closeness of the times of the two drivers left team boss, Alan Jones in somewhat of a quandary.
"I've made it our policy that I'd like to hand the car over to one driver on Saturday morning and he would keep it for the weekend," said Jones, referring to the A1 Grand Prix system where a team can change drivers between races. "Having said that, I've got a tough job ahead of me to analyse the data and come up with a decision."
ALAN JONES - SEAT HOLDER - A1 TEAM AUSTRALIA: "It is fantastic that we've been able to announce Foster's as the Official Sponsor of A1 Team Australia here at our home race at Eastern Creek. They are an iconic Australian brand that has a history of being involved in World class sporting events. The fact they have chosen to back A1 Team Australia proves that they have seen A1 Grand Prix for what it is - The World Cup of Motorsport and they consider it a truly a world-class sporting competition."
ROY PATER - CEO - A1 TEAM AUSTRALIA: "Foster's signing on as our Official Sponsor is great news. A company with the brand cache that Foster's holds right around the world being involved in this global motorsport product is brilliant for A1 Grand Prix and especially A1 Team Australia. The fact they have recognised the value of A1 Grand Prix internationally is very pleasing. We'd like to welcome Foster's on board and hope that it is a partnership for the long term."
WILL DAVISON - DRIVER - A1 TEAM AUSTRALIA: "It's great to have Foster's on board the team. Having lived in the UK, the only thing that reminds you of home is mates drinking Foster's, so to have them involved in the team is great. As for on track, the car had the tyres that Christian had used in the first session, so I didn't get much of an opportunity to go for a lap, as they were pretty well past their use by date."
CHRISTIAN JONES - DRIVER - A1 TEAM AUSTRALIA: "Foster's has taken it's product to the world, just as A1 Grand Prix is taking it's product to the world, so it's a fantastic fit. Today I found a little frustrating, as I was bedding in the gearbox and just as I was about to go for my lap, it began raining so I didn't get the opportunity to set a time that I would have liked."