A1 TEAM AUSTRALIA HOPING FOR AUSTRALIA DAY CELEBRATION IN SOUTH AFRICA DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA -- 26 January 2006: Australia's A1 Grand Prix team has arrived in the sun-drenched South African city of Durban ready for what promises to be a key and...
A1 TEAM AUSTRALIA HOPING FOR AUSTRALIA DAY CELEBRATION IN SOUTH AFRICA
DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA -- 26 January 2006: Australia's A1 Grand Prix team has arrived in the sun-drenched South African city of Durban ready for what promises to be a key and exciting milestone for the fledgling series, its first street race.
The A1 Team Australia principal, Alan Jones has declared the race, which happens to coincide with Australia's National Day weekend, could result in a 'green and gold' celebration.
Jones believes the temporary racetrack along Durban's foreshore - similar to the Gold Coast's Indy circuit - should suit the Australians.
"Looking at the circuit layout, it's very reminiscent to what the Champ Cars race on at Surfers Paradise every year, with a long straightaway that runs parallel to the ocean," the 1980 World Formula One champion said.
Australian Team driver, Will Davison, said prior to his departure for South Africa that patience would be critical to attaining points and a good result for the Foster's sponsored Australian team.
"This looks like an exciting track and with the very nature of street circuits, you have to keep your cool and bide your time before making any moves," Davison said. "Looking at what we've seen in the five A1 Grand Prix events so far, if you keep out of trouble, especially on this circuit, I think you would be able to walk away with a good result."
Davison went on to say that he enjoys street circuit racing. "Traditionally, I drive very well on street circuits, they suit my style of driving. Back in 2001 on the Albert Park Grand Prix circuit, we finished the Formula Ford support races by qualifying on pole and winning all three races, so street circuits hold some good memories for me and the aim is to keep that going this weekend."
A1 Team Australia's other team driver, Christian Jones, believes the Foster's sponsored team is ready for a big fight back in the Series this weekend after the Christmas break.
"The guys have had the opportunity for some time off over Christmas and now they are back into it, we're hopeful of being right on the pace this weekend," he said.
"Living on the Gold Coast in Queensland, I've been to quite a few Champ Car races and I am told this will be the South African equivalent. I'm really looking forward to being a part of the event and I'm sure given the extra element of the concrete walls that surround the circuit, this race will be as, if not more exciting than the previous five A1 events."
A1 Team Australia will take the opportunity on Thursday evening to celebrate Australia's National day with a gathering for supporters and sponsors to be hosted by Foster's in Durban.
"Foster's are putting on an Australia Day party in Durban on Thursday night," continued Alan Jones. "I'll be holding some Foster's on ice for Sunday night when hopefully we can really celebrate having come away with some decent points from the weekend!"
The sixth round of the A1 Grand Prix of Nations will be shown live into Australia from Durban on Sunday, December 29, 2006 at 10pm AEDT on Fox Sports 2.