A1 GP: New Zealand franchise statement

FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS FOR NZ A1 GP FRANCHISE Colin Giltrap, chairman of The Giltrap Group, and owner of the New Zealand franchise for the A1 Grand Prix, today announced further developments for the New Zealand franchise. Bob McMurray has been...

FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS FOR NZ A1 GP FRANCHISE

Colin Giltrap, chairman of The Giltrap Group, and owner of the New Zealand franchise for the A1 Grand Prix, today announced further developments for the New Zealand franchise.

Bob McMurray has been appointed General Manager of the team.

He will be based in New Zealand and will manage and oversee all facets of the operation.

Bob brings a wealth of experience to the team having worked in Formula 1 for the McLaren International team for many years.

He has also been seen regularly on television in his role as Formula 1 expert on the Television New Zealand 'Shell Helix Motorsport Show' on TV1 for the past three seasons. That role will continue.

Bob said;

"After many years with McLaren International, at the very pinnacle of international motorsport, it is an honour to be involved with a truly New Zealand effort in what is the World Cup of Motorsport. The A1 Grand Prix is the ultimate nation versus nation series and there can be no greater honour in any sport than to represent your country. This is what we all intend to do and we will do so with pride."

Negotiations are also at an advanced stage with WSR Ltd to maintain and run the operational 'on track' side of the A1 Grand Prix New Zealand franchise.

WSR is based in the UK and led by Kiwis Dick Bennetts and Mike Ewan.

WSR has an enviable reputation in every form of motor racing that it has been involved in, having won the British Formula 3 Championship five times and been runner-up a further four times with drivers such as Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen, Rubens Barrichello and many others that have subsequently gone on to Formula 1 success.

The company has also had great success in saloon car racing.

Hamish Miller of sports marketing company Roar Group Ltd has been appointed to handle commercial and sponsorship arrangements.

Hamish is a sports marketing specialist with an impressive track record. In 2004 he was honoured to be one of 20 people from around the world selected and appointed a marketing instructor for football's world governing body FIFA.

He brings a wealth of experience in the areas of sponsorship procurement and rights negotiations.

Colin Giltrap went on to say:

"The A1 Grand Prix New Zealand franchise is a truly New Zealand-based and operated team in the true spirit of the A1 GP objectives. New Zealanders have always been at the front and centre of the very top classes of international motorsport and we are currently assembling a team that I believe will be able to take on the best in the world and make sure that New Zealand is at the forefront of the World Cup of Motorsport. We look forward to the challenge ahead."

BACKGROUND ON A1 GRAND PRIX

One year ago, in his home land of Dubai, the A1 Grand Prix series Founder, President and Chairman, His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum launched the unique concept of a World Cup of Motorsport where the two worlds of business and motorsport would meet.

The series will create a level playing field for teams with identical cars that owe much to UK motorsport technology. The chassis is produced by Huntingdon's Lola International and the engine by Zytek Engineering, who are based in Repton, Derbyshire. The cars will all run on the same tyres from the Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, based in the USA, but whose racing operation is run by Avon Tyres Racing out of the company's UK premises in Melksham, Wiltshire.

The first race of the A1 Grand Prix series will be at Brands Hatch on the 25th September. The full calendar is yet to be released, but A1 Grand Prix has already announced China and Australia will host rounds of the series that is to be run over the northern hemisphere's winter months -- motor racing's traditional off season. Sixteen nations -- Great Britain, China, South Africa, Pakistan, Portugal, Lebanon, Canada, Malaysia, Australia, Mexico, South Korea, Turkey, Netherlands, India, Brazil and New Zealand -- have already signed up. Many more are in the pipeline and each race will see the national pride of at least eighty per cent of the world's population represented on the grid.

-ihug.co.nz

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Series A1GP
Drivers Rubens Barrichello , Mika Hakkinen , Sheikh Maktoum