GBR Looking To Break Records at A1GP Season Finale
London – A1 Team Great Britain is looking to make history at Brands Hatch this weekend, aiming to be the first team in the history A1GP to win a race on home soil. From 27 – 29 April, this exciting series that first hit the race tracks of the world at this famous Kent venue in September 2005 returns for the 2006/07 season finale, the RAB Capital A1GP Brands Hatch, Great Britain.
On that sunny weekend 21 events ago the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport made a dream debut. Over 70,000 people attended the action-packed weekend which saw A1 Team Brazil take the double and A1 Team Lebanon’s Khalil Beshir make a name for himself in a spectacular crash at Paddock Hill bend that is still the subject of conversation nearly two years on. However, it could have been so different for GBR driver Robbie Kerr as he was leading the Feature race when technical problems robbed him of a dream debut in the series.
‘Brands Hatch is the one we want two home wins at,’ said Kerr. ‘There is no way we are not going to be at the front at Brands Hatch. The car is getting better over the season. We have had a lot of bad luck so far, particularly in Australia and New Zealand where we were doing well in both races and we had a battery explode in one and a tire go in the other one. But this is the home race and I am really looking forward to having the home crowd support again. Hopefully we can have an even bigger crowd this year.’
A1 Team Germany may have already claimed the World Cup title for this season but the battle for second place is still raging. Home team, Great Britain, with race wins at the last two events under its belt, is looking to un-seat New Zealand from the position they have held for most of the season.
To date, not a single team has won a race on home soil, the closest being A1 Team Czech Republic’s Tomas Enge with his second place finish in the Brno Feature race. With A1 Team GBR third in the overall standing and on winning form after Mexico City and Shanghai, the team head to Brands Hatch with the best chances yet to take the accolade.
‘If Great Britain win at Brands this weekend it will blow all of my personal achievements out of the water,’ said Kerr. ‘Just to be in front of the home crowd with everyone going mad will be something very special for me. I think we would all have to do something very special to celebrate!’
With its fierce undulating track and fast sweeping corners, Brands Hatch is one of the most challenging Grand Prix circuits in the world. While several of the A1GP drivers know it from racing in the lower formulae it is a very different matter for some of the luminaries of the sport who have thrown their total support behind the series as team principals. A1 Team Great Britain’s John Surtees competed in a total of four Grands Prix at the track (1964, 1966, 1968 and 1970), following his successful years racing bikes during which he raced the ‘wrong way round’ the track. However, for A1 Team Brazil’s Emerson Fittipaldi the track has a special place in his heart. While he cut his racing teeth in the UK at tracks such as Brands in a Formula Ford, it was here in Kent that he not only made his F1 debut in 1970, but also where he won the British Grand Prix there in 1972.
The A1GP weekend is set to be another thrilling event, packed full of excitement both on and off the track. A host of entertainment is planned to create a carnival like atmosphere for fans coming to support teams from across the world - all competing for glory and the final standings of the second season of A1GP.
Committed to catering for much more than the petrol heads and motorsport fanatics, the A1GP race weekend promises to deliver a fantastic family atmosphere to Brands Hatch. Attractions for all the family include a family fun fair, face painting – to get those all so important national flags to show country support, as well as the A1GP opening ceremony with thrill and spectacle guaranteed. Fans can also get up close to their heroes with autograph signing sessions with the A1GP drivers on both Saturday and Sunday of race weekend.
The weekend’s racing action kicks off with the rookie driver and developing nations’ sessions on Friday 27 April from 11.00 to 11.25 and again from 11.35 to 12.00. Drivers under 28 years old who have competed in less than three A1GP races are eligible to participate along with drivers from China, India, Indonesia, Lebanon and Pakistan. All teams can take part in the later practice session from 14.00 to 15.00. Final practice and qualifying for the Sprint race will take place on Saturday, with qualifying starting at the later time of 15.45 and the Sprint and Feature races scheduled for Sunday 29 April at 11.00 and 15.00 respectively.
With many heralding the event as a return to the glory days of Grand Prix racing at Brands, the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport is excitedly preparing for its return to the Kent circuit for the 2006/07 season finale, the RAB Capital A1GP Brands Hatch, Great Britain (27 – 29 April 2007). A1GP PR