A1 TEAM MALAYSIA GEARS UP FOR NEW SEASON KICK OFF THIS WEEKEND The new era of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport Powered by Ferrari has finally arrived, with the first round of the 2008/09 season taking place at the popular Zandvoort Circuit in...
A1 TEAM MALAYSIA GEARS UP FOR NEW SEASON KICK OFF THIS WEEKEND
The new era of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport Powered by Ferrari has finally arrived, with the first round of the 2008/09 season taking place at the popular Zandvoort Circuit in the Netherlands this weekend. A1 Team Malaysia will line up on the grid alongside teams from around the world as they compete for the pride of their nations in this unique international racing series. Fairuz Fauzy will be in the driving seat for the Malaysian team, after solid pace shown in preseason testing earned him the honour of stepping up to represent his nation at the maiden event of this fourth season.
The Zandvoort Circuit has played host to the opening round of A1GP for the last two seasons and the Dutch circuit has always attracted a sell-out crowd. The nature of the track combined with unpredictable weather conditions help to produce what promises to be one of the most exciting events of the season. The 2.684 mile circuit is technically demanding, but also offers one of the best overtaking opportunities as the A1GP cars run down to the famous Tarzan hairpin at the end of the long pit straight. The A1GP PowerBoost, giving the drivers an extra 50bhp, will no doubt be utilised on this section of track as the nations battle to claim opening round points.
The new season of A1GP brings with it some exciting changes: new venues, new teams, new drivers and new rules which will all spice up the action on track. The most notable new addition will be the more powerful A1GP car which, after much anticipation, will make its race debut this weekend. Also, a recent change to the sporting regulations for this season now means the teams will count their best nine event scores. The final points' standings will be calculated by each team dropping its worst set of results from the Sprint and Feature races of one event. With a small number of teams being forced to miss the event due to car build delays, the introduction of this rule will ensure that the series continues to uphold its aim of having a level playing field. The series plans to have all its nations on the grid for the second event of this season at Chengdu, China on 7-9 November.
Fairuz Fauzy, who will drive for Malaysia this weekend, says of the preparations for Zandvoort, "I'm optimistic about the weekend as we showed strong form during testing at Donington. With the limited track time allowed I travelled to Misano earlier this week to spend time on the new A1GP car simulator, which was a chance to build on the knowledge we gained at the test. We're as prepared as we can be ahead of the race weekend. I am looking forward to being at Zandvoort tomorrow to learning the track and focus on the race ahead. We are aiming for points this weekend and to develop our knowledge of the car in preparation for a competitive season in A1GP."
Jack Cunningham, A1 Team Malaysia Chief Executive, adds, "During the off season A1 Team Malaysia certainly hasn't been resting. We wanted to ensure that we have the best possible team heading into this season, so we conducted a full review of our operation, which has resulted in a reinvigorated team with the top level experience that we need to contest this highly competitive series. We have invested heavily in our engineering and technical staff and our tight knit team will hit ground running at Zandvoort, hopefully carrying the momentum of Donington into this race weekend. If we can come away from Zandvoort with points, it will be a good start to our campaign."
This weekend the first official practice session has been extended to one hour 50 minutes, beginning at 09.00 on Saturday (4 October). This will be followed by the usual second session at 11.00 -- 12.30, before qualifying gets underway at 15.45. Sunday's Sprint race starts at 11:00 local time (10:00 BST Sunday) with the Feature race starting at 15:00 local time (1400 BST Sunday).