Kerr and McIntosh to pair for 2006 World Series by Renault Kerr and McIntosh to pair for 2006 World Series by Renault London, England (March 02, 2006) -- Having had the honour of racing for their respective nations in the inaugural A1 Grand Prix...
Kerr and McIntosh to pair for 2006 World Series by Renault
Kerr and McIntosh to pair for 2006 World Series by Renault London, England (March 02, 2006) -- Having had the honour of racing for their respective nations in the inaugural A1 Grand Prix Series, it was announced today that Britain's Robbie Kerr and Canada's Sean McIntosh will be paired together as team-mates in the 2006 World Series by Renault competing for the Belgian-run Team KTR.
The decision to place two of A1GP's most exciting talents together for the 2006 season came following a meeting at the last round of the 'World Cup of Motorsport' in Monterrey, Mexico where Wade Cherwayko, Seatholder for A1 Team Canada, and John Surtees, Team Principal for A1 Team Great Britain and 1964 Formula One World Champion (Ferrari), decided on an extension of their driver development programme which was first initiated with the creation of the A1GP Series and the opportunities initially offered to Kerr and McIntosh to race for their countries.
Kerr (26) from Burbage, winner of the prestigious British Formula Three Championship in 2002 and a six-time podium finisher this season in A1GP, and McIntosh (20) from Vancouver, runner-up in the 2005 Formula Renault UK Championship with five victories and already an A1GP winner (Round 8 -- Indonesia), look set to form a considerable driver pairing for Team KTR in the World Series by Renault.
The Belgian outfit, run by Kurt Mollekens, already boasts a race-winning pedigree with the team finishing third overall in 2005.
"For a number of years I've thought a system needed to be put in place to assist drivers in developing their careers," John Surtees explained. "My experience in recent years with karting and Buckmore Park Kart Circuit only confirmed the need for this. Having come together with Wade Cherwayko in the A1 Grand Prix programme we have now created an opportunity to give drivers the superb opportunity of a year-round racing programme incorporating the regular season as well as the winter racing offered by A1GP, but importantly, this is all on the world stage which is vital if they wish to progress their careers."
He continued, "Needless to say we also feel our programme will be attractive to businesses and we hope to attract partners who see the benefits of being involved with a unique opportunity for networking and business expansion off the back of a continuous marketing platform incorporating the World Series by Renault, with the added benefit of the association and support of the reigning Formula One World Champion's, and the A1 Grand Prix of Nations, through the concept of one nation, one car and the ability to reach into world markets as populous as the likes of China, India and the U.S."
Francois Sicard, Sporting Director for the World Series by Renault is similarly excited by the prospect of adding Robbie and Sean's driving talents to the depth of competition signed up for this year's championship. "I'm very pleased to welcome Robbie Kerr and Sean McIntosh to our series. Both drivers have accomplished records and we've been aware of their talents for some time."
"Robbie sampled our Euro V6 series back in 2004 following his F3 championship success and Sean is a multiple race winner in the Formula Renault UK Championship and of course, a recent A1GP winner. I'm delighted that we have drivers representing Great Britain and Canada in our series and I'm equally pleased that John Surtees recognizes the platform offered by the Renault development ladder. We've been talking to John for a while now and I'm pleased that by placing Robbie and Sean with KTR they're going to be competing for one of the strongest team's on the grid. Everything's in place for a great 2006 season!"
Leading A1 Team Great Britain to third place in the current A1GP Nations Standings with two rounds remaining, Robbie Kerr's looking ahead to working with Team KTR when the new season begins.
"It's going to be good working with Kurt (Mollekens)," said Kerr. "He's a good experienced guy who was also a superb driver. He knows what he's watching when he sees you out on the circuit which will be a fantastic help in continuing to improve as the season progresses. I'm grateful to Wade and to John for this opportunity and I hope I can repay it with a shot at the title."
Sean McIntosh, who was involved in the closest Formula Renault UK Championship title fight in 15 years last season, shares his new team-mate's enthusiasm. "This is a very exciting opportunity for 2006 after a successful season in the Formula Renault UK Championship last year. I'm excited to be staying within the Renault development ladder for another year, this time at the next level in the World Series. I've learned a lot from racing in A1GP over the winter, not least in driving a higher horse-powered car so I feel I'm heading into the regular season more experienced and with more confidence.
"To be involved in this kind of driver development programme, of which I have to thank both Wade and John, is something that every driver dreams of. I know there's plenty more hard work to be done to keep moving but it's an awesome opportunity and there's already a track record of drivers moving up to F1 from the World Series with Robert Kubica winning last season's championship and signing with BMW-Sauber. Ultimately it's an honour for me to continue to represent Canada in European motorsport."
Bridging the gap between Formula Renault 2.0 and the Renault-powered GP2 Series, Formula One's official feeder-series, the World Series by Renault offers competitors the chance to race across Europe behind the wheel of a 425bhp, 3.5-litre Renault-powered Dallara. Competing at such illustrious circuits as Monaco, Spa and Le Mans, Kerr and McIntosh will have the opportunity to hone their driving skills on some of the world's classic race tracks starting with Zolder in Belgium at the end of April, the first meeting of the 9- round, 18-race 2006 schedule.