Felicitations, Franky ! One of A1 Team France's rivals in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport has been given one of the most prestigious sporting accolades, with A1 Team China driver, Congfu Cheng about to become part of history as he participates...
Felicitations, Franky !
One of A1 Team France's rivals in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport has been given one of the most prestigious sporting accolades, with A1 Team China driver, Congfu Cheng about to become part of history as he participates in the Olympic Torch Relay.
This tradition goes back to the year 766 BC, when the first recorded Olympic games were held. In an honour that is afforded to very few athletes, let alone racing drivers, he will be a Torchbearer for the Olympic Flame as it sets out on its path across Greece on Monday (24 March), its final journey before the Games of the XXIX Olympiad Beijing 2008.
With the driver, who is usually known as 'Franky', coming from Beijing, it is obviously very special for him to be involved in the flame's final journey before it is officially handed over to Beijing.
A1 Team France Sporting Director, Olivier Panis, said "The Olympics are the biggest sporting event in the World and it's great to hear that Franky is going to have the honour of carrying the Olympic torch for his country. A1GP is all about representing your nation and being proud of your Country, and this really shows that China recognises the success of the team and Franky in A1GP."
A1 Team France test driver Nicolas Prost commented, "Franky is one of the friendliest drivers in the paddock, he always has a huge smile on his face, and I imagine on hearing this news he'll be thrilled and certainly won't stop smiling now! I can only imagine what an honour it would be to carry the Olympic torch for your country; this is an amazing opportunity and I'm really pleased for him."
Congfu Cheng said of this important occasion, "It is my great honour and a dream for all sports people to be nominated as one of the Torchbearers and to carry the flame in Greece. Hopefully my appearance in the Beijing Olympic Torch Relay will help promote motorsport in China, and encourage more Chinese people to get involved in this exciting sport. I will try my best to bring more honours to my country in A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. I would like to welcome all the people going to my home town for this great event."
Franky and the flame have a lot in common as they travel the length and the breadth of the world. A1GP World Cup of Motorsport visits five continents and so does the flame on its relay that takes 130 days and covers 137,000 kilometres. On Monday 24 March, Cheng's duties will be on the first day of the flame's 1528 km journey, in the hands of 605 Torchbearers, through 16 prefectures, 43 municipalities, 12 municipality districts, and four communities while 29 ceremonies will be held.
It will arrive on 30 March in the Panathenian Stadium with the final Torchbearer and then on the eve of the handover to Beijing the flame will spend the night on the ancient Acropolis. After his torch bearing duties, Franky will head to Shanghai for the penultimate round of the 2007/08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport where he will compete for his country against 21 nations at the Shanghai International Circuit from 11 to 13 April 2008.