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A1 TEAM USA announces Ryan Hunter-Reay
On January 19, 2007, A1 TEAM USA will compete in A1GP World Cup of Motorsport action in Taupo, New Zealand with a new driver behind the wheel.  Ryan Hunter-Reay, who was on-hand at November’s A1GP Beijing race as TEAM USA’s rookie driver, will be driving the “We the People” car in the sixth race of the 2006-07 season and the first-ever A1GP to be held in New Zealand.

Hunter-Reay, from Boca Raton, FL, brings with him a wealth of professional racing experience.  The accomplished driver began racing karts at age 12 in Florida, and went on to make his mark in Champ Car racing.  In 2003, Hunter-Reay became the first American Rookie in over 20 years to win a Champ Car Race (Surfers Paradise, Australia).  In Champ Car, he also became the second youngest driver to ever win a street race, and the youngest American ever to win an oval race. Hunter-Reay has been busy preparing for the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has been testing for the NASCAR Busch Series.

“I’ve really been looking forward to driving for A1 TEAM USA for some time now.  It’s a unique opportunity in which I can represent my country on a global scale,” said Hunter-Reay.  “I love the fact that this is a new circuit for all participants.  That levels the playing field even more which is perfect for my first race with TEAM USA.”

Owner, Rick Weidinger, is looking forward to having Hunter-Reay in the driver’s seat for A1 TEAM USA.  Weidinger has remained in touch with the driver since meeting Hunter-Reay at the A1GP race in Laguna Seca in March 2006. 

“We can’t wait to get Ryan in the Team USA car,” Weidinger said.  “He is a very experienced professional driver—and incidentally some of his biggest successes have taken place in that part of the world, so we are excited to give him this opportunity in New Zealand.”

The A1GP Race in Taupo, New Zealand begins Friday, January 19th with a rookie practice, followed by a one-hour open practice. There is a one-hour practice on Saturday, January 20th prior to qualifying which is comprised of four 15-minute sessions with the best two laps for each driver establishing the grid. The week will culminate on Sunday, January 21st with the 20-minute Sprint Race in the morning and the 70-minute Feature Race in the afternoon.

The A1GP race in Taupo, New Zealand can be seen in the USA, Canada and Mexico on Wednesday, January 24 at 4 PM on the Speed Channel.

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