Tomas Enge is back in the Czech A1GP team. Seatholder Antonin Charouz has recalled him because Erik Janis, who drove in all previous rounds of the season, is now fully focused on his debut season in the F3 Euro Series. The young Czech signed ...
Tomas Enge is back in the Czech A1GP team. Seatholder Antonin Charouz has recalled him because Erik Janis, who drove in all previous rounds of the season, is now fully focused on his debut season in the F3 Euro Series. The young Czech signed contract to be a factory Mercedes-Benz driver. Chinese Zhuhai will see both drivers -- Erik should do the rookie practices and Tomas the rest of the weekend. Starting with New Zealand's round in January 2008 Erik should not be involved with the Czech team.
Enge is returning to a single-seater cockpit after 10 months. Thirty one years old ex-F1 driver is by far the most experienced and also successful driver of the Czech team. All four podium finishes including the win in the Feature race at Shanghai 2006 and the silver position at Brno 2006 are his courtesy.
Tomas was quite busy in recent weeks. He tested with factory Aston Martin Racing team at Jerez and Guadix in Spain. He tasted LMP1 prototype Pescarolo Judd of the Rollcentre Racing team at Silverstone and also drove GT Mosler MT900R. Erik Janis tested F3 at Lausitzring last weekend. He spent the whole day behind the wheel of ASL -- Team Mucke Motorsport F3 single-seater. Erik drove to Germany from Melnik where he got Ceska pojistovna - Skoda Octavia Cup champion trophy.
Zhuhai's round will make another milestone in the A1GP history because it will be the first visit of the World Cup of Motorsport there. Everyone will have to start from scratch because there are no data, no experience. Engineers and drivers will have to work on all details. Enge will start with a small advantage thanks to his track knowledge from the FIA GT race. The technical track was built in 1996 and redesigned four years later by the famous architect Hermann Tilke.
Tomas Enge: "Zhuhai is going to be my return to a single-seater after 10 months. I am curious and looking forward to it. However, it is not going to be easy due to the long break and also my elbow. My arm, which I injured in April's ALMS race at St. Petersburg, is not causing any problems under normal stress but we have to wait and see how it will react to the biggest possible stress. Single-seaters demand more power and it brings therefore bigger stress for the elbow. Hopefully, everything will be okay and I will race. It should be clear after Friday's practice. I know Zhuhai thanks to my start in the FIA GT race at the beginning of the year. It is a nice track although slower corners predominate over the quick ones, which I prefer. I have good memories because together with Tim Mullen we finished third in the GT2 class with Scuderia Ecosse's Ferrari 430."
Erik Janis: "Chinese round is bringing fundamental change to us after I was the only driver of the Czech team in the first three events of the season. I am going to drive only in the rookie practices and I would race only if Tomas's arm was injured again. I think that our manager Antonin Charouz has done a logical and right decision. My new contract for next F3 season has changed priorities and my focus is on F3 testing. I want to be prepared in the best possible way for my debut season in the F3 Euro series where I am going to be a factory Mercedes-Benz driver and race for the ASL -- Team Muecke Motorsport. We shared this view not only with Mr. Charouz but also with team boss Peter Muecke. I wish all to hest to Tomas. I am curious to see how he will be doing. I have flown to China straight from two nice events. I tested F3 again during the weekend and again I fell a bit better in the cockpit. I went to Germany from Melnik. Its castle hosted the end of season celebrations where I got my winning trophy for the Ceska pojistovna -- Skoda Octavia Cup. It was a pleasant evening where I also had an opportunity to say thanks to all people from the ACA Autocentrala Hlucin team for all their support in the last two seasons."
Antonin Charouz, Seatholder: "Erik has been withdrawn because he has got a new agreement as a factory Mercedes-Benz driver in the F3 Euro series. I want to allow him full focus on testing and overall preparations with the ASL -- Team Muecke Motorsport. He has flown to China just in case that Tomas would not be able to race. However, Tomas should be fully fit. I am curious to see how he will do after such a long break in single-seaters."