A1 Team France appears destined to be without the services of its star driver, Loic Duval, for the remainder of the 2007/08 season.
Duval has other racing commitments in Japan, which he agreed on before this season began.
There are presently doubts over whether the 25-year-old will be able to make it from Japan to Durban in time to compete in the next round of the championship in South Africa on 24 February, but he has informed the team that he will definitely not be available for selection in the last three meetings.
The team made a major effort to get Duval to Eastern Creek in time for this weekend’s meeting, with him only arriving at the circuit one hour before free practice began on Friday. The efforts were vindicated with victory in the Sprint race, however this look likes it will be a last hurrah for Duval, with the timescale for him getting to Durban presently appearing too tight.
‘I signed my contract in Japan before A1GP started,’ Duval confirmed. ‘You know how it is. At the moment it looks unlikely I’ll be able to do South Africa, but we’ll see. But the last three race I definitely cannot do.
'But for sure I will be at my computer, checking A1GP.com and watching the races on TV. For sure, it is really important for the team and France to win this championship.’
Team manager Eric Boullier is already resigned to looking for another driver to complete the season and fight for the overall title.
Boullier said: ‘For Durban we have a schedule problem for Loic and we would have to fly him back from Japan overnight on Friday for him to be at the track on Saturday. That is why this is maybe too difficult.’
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