WELCOME to the eighth issue of the A1 Team Malaysia Newsletter. A1 Team Malaysia has experienced the classic highs and lows of motorsport since the start of the season. We are fighting hard in the most competitive season of A1GP. All of the...
WELCOME to the eighth issue of the A1 Team Malaysia Newsletter.
A1 Team Malaysia has experienced the classic highs and lows of motorsport since the start of the season. We are fighting hard in the most competitive season of A1GP. All of the teams are getting to grips with a new car in this, the most sophisticated racing series aside from F1. A raft of new challenges has produced some of the most exciting racing to date in A1GP.
In this Newsletter we examine our fortunes, highlight some of the key moments and bring you all the latest news from A1GP. We hope you enjoy this edition.
The last few races have seen a dip in results for the team and from the outside it seems that Malaysia has lost its early season form. Looking at recent race results certainly gives this impression. So what has actually happened?
The reality is that A1GP is one of the most competitive racing series, with only F1 above it in terms of sophistication of car design, advanced electronics and systems. The introduction of a new car with little testing ahead of launch was always going to add to the challenge for the A1GP teams and this season it has proved to be a battle to get all the elements of the car, driver and engineer working at optimum level.
From ten races so far there have been six different winners. A combination of reliability, racing form and a serious dose of good or bad luck has thrown up this diversity of winners. Can the team bounce back? Maybe we need a crystal ball, but in the meantime there is total determination to get the best results at out of every race. Keep supporting us. It inspires us on.
MALAYSIA STANDS ITS GROUND
A1 Team Malaysia and A1 Team Ireland may not have won any races in South Africa, but they stole all the headlines. A controversial incident between the two nations in the Feature race at the last round produced many columns of newsprint, not only in the two home countries but around the globe too.
After the Irish team principal slammed Fairuz and refused to accept any blame for what the race stewards concluded as 'a racing incident', Malaysia's Chief Executive responded with terse words, saying, "It's understandable that A1 Team Ireland was feeling emotional and frustrated after this incident, considering also that they lost the lead in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. However, to blame Fairuz for the incident is unfair and we think the Irish team should stick to trying to win races rather than blaming others for their misfortune. A1 Team Ireland is a highly respected team, but on this occasion their comments are ill-judged."
A1GP NEWS ROUND-UP
A1 Team Pakistan is expected to return to racing in the Series at the next round in the Algarve. The team's new car had a shakedown and test recently, with further testing planned before Adam Khan makes his A1GP debut in this season's new car.
The Series has its fourth championship leader with Switzerland now joining Ireland, Malaysia and France as a team that has headed the World Cup of Motorsport points table.
A1GP will visit the Gold Coast, Australia for the first time next season. The first event to be confirmed for next season will be known as the SuperGP, combining the names of the two series' headlining the event -- V8 Supercars and A1GP.
COMPETITION FOR SEPANG?
A1 Sepang has always been at the top or close to the top in the list of driver's favourite tracks. After A1GP's first visit to Kyalami the Malaysian circuit might have some competition in the popularity stakes. A1GP commentator, Ben Edwards noticed how much the drivers enjoyed the South African circuit, saying in his recent A1GP.com blog, "If I've counted up correctly, Kyalami was the 19th circuit that A1GP has visited since it all started at Brands Hatch in 2005, and judging by the reaction of the drivers, it has become an iconic track for a new generation. Every time that pitlane TV reporters Hinch or Diana asked the question, 'What do you think,' there was a gleam in the eye of the speaker, and a relish for the fast corners, the rapid direction changes and the ups and downs of the terrain.
"It's almost as exciting for the spectators, with fantastic viewing spots and an opportunity to be close to the action. Dotted around the hillsides are the unique bomas; thatched cottages opening onto perfect viewing areas where a drink or two would have slipped down very easily on summer's afternoon."
Spare a thought for Malaysia's 'rookie' driver, Aaron Lim. Technical gremlins resulted in the young driver only completing about 5 laps of the Kyalami circuit, giving him just enough time to fall in love with it, but not enough laps to really get up to speed and make the most of his time in the car.
WHAT DO WE OFFER OUR PARTNERS?
International motorsport has been in the headlines recently, particularly within Europe. The widening global recession or 'credit crunch' has had major repercussions for the more expensive sporting properties sponsored by banking institutions and associated industries.
The high profile RBS sponsorship of Williams F1 team will be withdrawn at the end of next year with beleaguered ING set to drop out of its association with Renault F1at the end of this year. These two examples are echoed around other sports as well -- from football to cricket, the Olympics to Asian Games.
In motorsport the A1GP Series has one advantage over the F1 championship which steals much of the media attention -- affordable participation for cost effective marketing returns.
The huge costs of running F1 has to be met by commercial partners and inevitably this has led to a high price tag for any commercial association with one of the 10 teams in F1. The options for companies looking at motorsport, but who would prefer not to commit the vast sums required by the F1 teams, are to look at other series and A1GP is one of the best placed to offer excellent commercial returns. Sitting alongside the GP2 Series and World Series by Renault, as a feeder series to Formula One in terms of driving talent, A1GP has a clear commercial advantage.
A global audience with broadcasts on major TV channels, a unique racing concept and strong trackside spectatorship are unrivalled by other series outside F1.
As A1 Team Malaysia looks ahead to a fifth season, the search for commercial partners will be stepped up to allow Malaysian companies to take full advantage of the benefits of association with our team and the series.
MORE A1GP NEWS
A1 Team Australia started their race preparations in Kyalami by remembering their fellow Australians who suffered in the recent bushfires in the Australian state of Victoria. A special remembrance note on the front nose of the Australian race car and black armbands for the crew were used by the team to show their respect and join the Official Day of Mourning in Australia on race day, February 22nd.
A reception for A1 Team Ireland at the residence of the Irish Ambassdor to South Africa, Ambassador Colin Wrafter, on Friday of race week, turned into a lucrative event for the team. John Hynes, one of the principals of Team Ireland, who has been heavily involved in civil engineering projects in Ireland throughout his career, brokered an agreement with Insitu-Pipelines. The company's brand was prominently displayed on the rear wing and mirrors of the Irish car throughout the South African race weekend.
Brazil's Felipe Guimaraes became A1GP's youngest ever medal winner in South Africa. He scored a silver medal for his second place finish in the Sprint race aged just 17 years and 11 months, beating the previous best set by Earl Bamber in Zandvoort earlier this season.
The A1GP Series will debut at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal next month. This new circuit will host its first A1GP event and with the track already receiving rave reviews from visitors, there's plenty of anticipation of another ground-breaking event in A1GP.