Team Australia announces new car

IT'S A NEW CAR FOR A1 TEAM AUSTRALIA! Australia among first countries to access A1 Grand Prix car after London draw! JULY 08 2005 - SYDNEY: A1 Team Australia has had an early win in the inaugural A1 Grand Prix of Nations...

Australia among first countries to access A1 Grand Prix car after London draw!

JULY 08 2005 - SYDNEY: A1 Team Australia has had an early win in the inaugural A1 Grand Prix of Nations after the team won the right to be among the first countries allocated their Zytek-engined, Lola A1 Grand Prix chassis.

A1 Grand Prix's President and Chairman, His Highness, Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum conducted an audited ballot at A1 Grand Prix's London offices last weekend, allocating the first twelve chassis and engine combinations, of which the first one drawn was A1 Team Australia.

The Australian team, headed up by 1980 World Formula 1 Champion, Alan Jones, received the "keys" to the A1GP car after the draw and understandably, Jones is raring to go, with the first A1 Grand Prix event at England's Brands Hatch circuit on September 23-25, less than twelve weeks away.

"This provides A1 Team Australia with a great opportunity to get in and start preparing our car," said Jones. "The first test session will be August 3-4 at Silverstone, which we'll be using primarily to bed the engine and components in and ensure all systems are operating correctly."

Jones stressed there won't be a great emphasis placed on driver selection during the Silverstone test.

"Driver selection isn't our priority at the initial test, to be honest. It essentially allows us to get the drivers behind the wheel and get them comfortable in their surrounds, along with allowing the team to gather some data ahead of the major test at Paul Ricard at the end of August, when the race for driver selection will really be on."

The A1 Team Australia car, the first of two to carry the national colours, will be in the care of Race Team Manager, Alan Docking, who gave BMW.Williams.F1 driver, Mark Webber, his start in the British Formula 3 Championship. The car will be held at the A1 Technical Innovation Centre at Silverstone in the UK, where all 25 teams will ultimately base themselves.

Australian-based fans that can't make it to Brands Hatch, EuroSpeedway (Germany) or Estoril (Portugal) for the opening three events will have to wait until November 4-6, when the fourth round of inaugural World Cup of Motorsport descends on Sydney's Eastern Creek International Raceway.

The twelve countries allocated A1GP cars and engines in the ballot are as follows:

. Brazil
. Great Britain
. India
. Lebanon
. Mexico
. The Netherlands
. New Zealand
. Pakistan
. Portugal
. South Africa
. As yet un-named European country


The A1 Team Brazil franchise was unveiled last week at a gala ceremony in the Brazilian capital, Sao Paulo. Synonymous with The World Cup in Soccer and with Motorsport, A1 Grand Prix provided a perfect fit for the 182 million people of the South American nation said Seat Holder, three-time FIFA Soccer Player of the Year and Real Madrid strike force, Ronaldo. "In soccer, Brazil has won the World Cup five times and it would be wonderful to win The World Cup in Motorsport for the first time," he said. Ronaldo will be assisted in his new role by double World Formula 1 champion and winner of the 1992 Gold Coast Indy, Emerson Fittipaldi.

Alan Jones is currently finalising the driver line up for A1 Team Australia. According to Jones, contracts are in the final stages of preparation. "We've had discussions with the drivers and we are now preparing contracts for them," Jones said. "The team will comprise some of the brightest talents in Australian motorsport and I'm sure sports fans Australia wide will get right behind A1 Team Australia and give us the support we see normally reserved for The Wallabies or our national cricket team." The A1 Team Australia drivers will be unveiled to the media and public very soon.

Seat holder for A1 Team Great Britain, John Surtees - the only man to win World Championships on both two and four wheels - has announced young Brits Robbie Kerr and Alex Lloyd as the two drivers for his nation's A1GP team. Both Kerr and Lloyd are highly accomplished and will provide strong competition for the 24 other nations in the inaugural World Cup of Motorsport. Kerr won the ultra tough British Formula 3 Championship in 2002, after winning the Scholarship class in British F3 the year prior. He was also one of the first to test an A1 Grand Prix car. 20 year old Lloyd, on the other hand, is a winner of the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year award and has a wide range of experience in open wheel racing, having raced F3000, Formula Renault and more recently he tested an F1 car. The British team will be operated by Arden International, owned by Red Bull Racing's Sporting Director, Christian Horner.

Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum, A1 Grand Prix's President and Chairman swapped his race helmet for a pair of footy boots recently to play in a Charity Soccer Match for the Figo Foundation, founded in 2003 by A1 Team Portugal's seat holder, Luis Figo. Maktoum played for the Luis Figo All Stars alongside the likes of Brazil's A1 Seat Holder and Figo's Real Madrid team-mate, Ronaldo in the annual event, along with a host of superstars from the Soccer World. The game raised money for The Figo Foundation, which assists disadvantaged youth in his home land to develop their respective talents, whilst avoiding drugs, alcohol and crime. Figo has a long association with motorsport, with Michael Schumacher a regular participant in the annual charity event.


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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Mark Webber , Alan Docking , Alan Jones , Robbie Kerr , Emerson Fittipaldi , Alex Lloyd , John Surtees , Sheikh Maktoum
Teams Williams , Arden International