All systems 'go' for A1GP Durban, South Africa
It’s all systems ‘Go’ for this weekend’s South African round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport around the street circuit that has been specially constructed in Durban, KwaZulu Natal.
A1 Team South Africa has confirmed that 20-year-old Adrian Zaugg, who gave South Africa its first A1GP victory in the Netherlands in round one in October, will be at the wheel of Vulindlela for the two Durban races.
Zaugg has recovered from an operation on his forearms that kept him out of the second season of A1GP for the past two months and will be making his long-awaited debut on South African soil. Alan van der Merwe, 27, who drove for South Africa in Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia, will be the reserve driver for the Durban race weekend.
“I can’t wait to get back into Vulindlela,” said Zaugg. “It’s been very frustrating having to watch from the sidelines, but now that I’ve recovered from the operation to my arms I’m fit and looking forward to my first A1GP in South Africa.”
Motor racing fans can expect an action-packed three days at the seafront circuit, with the first of three one-hour official practice sessions for the teams from 22 nations starting at 11h00 on Friday. The second session is at 14h00 on Friday with a final session at 11h00 on Saturday.
Saturday features the unique A1GP qualifying format of four 15-minute sessions starting at 14h15, while the 20-minute Sprint race is on Sunday morning at 11h00 and the 70-minute Feature race starts at 15h00.
Last year’s inaugural Durban street race in January was a sell-out success and was voted the best round of the 11-race 2005/06 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport by the competing nations’ team principals. South Africa is one of 22 countries contesting the second series of this unique motor sport competition that pits nation against nation in identical cars.
“We’re expecting another bumper crowd and we’ve made every effort to ensure that the fans are catered for even better than they were last year,” said Ms Dana Cooper, CEO of A1 Team South Africa. “We have more grandstands, more giant TV screens, and tightened up security and access systems to ensure that ticket holders get what they paid for.”
The second street circuit in this year’s A1GP World Cup of Motorsport calendar – the first was in Beijing in November - the 3,28-km Durban circuit will once again start in Snell Parade, between Natal command and the beach, then run in a clockwise direction down Snell Parade, around a tight hairpin back towards Natal Command, then west into Argyle Road, north along NMR Avenue, east along Battery Beach Road and under the M4 freeway, and finally south past the Suncoast Casino and back into Snell Parade. A1GP