A1GP World Cup of Motorsport has strong ties with China, having raced there five times in the last three seasons (each time to small crowds and huge losses), but for Season Four the series will have a new venue in its most visited country and take the opportunity to help an earthquake struck region. The Chengdu International Circuit will host round two on the 7-9 November 2008 and proceeds from the event will go to the Sichuan Earthquake Relief Fund.
The date for the event means a change to the provisional calendar for Season Four, as this was the date originally set for a race in Indonesia. Now the Indonesian event, which sees A1GP head to the country for a third time, moves to a new venue on the 6-8 February 2009. “Making such changes needs a lot of co-operation, and we would especially like to thank the Indonesian Minister of Youth and Sport Affairs, Dr Adhyaksa Dault and IMI the National Motorsports Federation, for consenting to this date change,” said A1GP Chairman, Tony Teixeira.
Commenting on the series visiting China Teixeira added: “Our welcome in China has always been extremely warm and it is very gratifying that we have been invited to race at our fourth different track in this amazing country by the Chinese Government. The Chinese fans are some of the most passionate, as can be seen by their support for the series and A1 Team China. Also, as we have seen with the recent Olympics, China knows how to put on great events.”
Liu Yu, A1 Team China Seat Holder is certain this race will be very important to the Sichuan Province: “It is a great honor to have A1GP back in China, especially with the new A1GP Powered by Ferrari cars. The severity of the earthquake in Sichuan Province on the 12 May this year was a shock to everyone worldwide, and both A1GP and A1 Team China will take this opportunity to show support for the local people who have suffered so badly. I am sure the fans in Chengdu will be able to show they are getting on with their lives and will give A1GP a warm welcome.”
Although the race in China was originally scheduled for the 12-14 December, a date change was necessary to ensure the best possible weather conditions in this region of China. Chengdu City is the capital of the Sichuan province in the south west of the country, while the track, which lies 16 kilometers south west of the city centre, is 3.367 kilometers (2.019 miles) long and features 14 turns. The ‘City of Abundance’ as Chengdu is also known, is the fifth most populated city in the country with over a 100 million people living in Sichuan Province. Its other claim to fame is being the most important economic, transportation and communication hub in China. The city is 1,518 kilometers (943 miles) from Beijing and 1,651 kilometers (1,026 miles) from Shanghai.
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