A1GP News Round Up
After one of the most exciting A1GP World Cup of Motorsport races to date, Vodafone A1GP Algarve, Portugal, momentum for Brands Hatch continues to build while the A1GP drivers have been keeping busy on the pitch and the race track.
Brands Hatch has joined forces with military charity Help for Heroes to help raise money at A1GP Brands Hatch, Great Britain this May Bank Holiday (1 - 3 May).
Help for Heroes was founded in 2007 to offer support to servicemen and women injured in the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The charity has worked on some major projects, including a fundraising single with ITV’s ‘X Factor’, and soldiers representing Help for Heroes will be collecting donations at Brands Hatch during the UK round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport next weekend.
In celebration of its partnership with A1GP, Help for Heroes will also be providing an array of military-themed entertainment at Brands Hatch. On raceday (Sunday 3 May), the series’ opening ceremony will feature performances from the Royal British Legion Youth Band Brentwood, the Red Devils parachute display team and the Tristar Twirlers majorette troupe. The White Helmets motorcycle display team will also be performing on raceday, and there will be a display of military tanks and artillery as well.
Bryn Parry, co-founder and chief executive of Help for Heroes, said: “I am just staggered and delighted by the number of people who are ‘doing their bit’ to support our wounded heroes. People all across the UK are doing something to raise money to support our servicemen and women. This initiative by the motor racing world will be a fantastic contribution and will make a great difference. We may not be able to prevent our boys and girls being wounded but by joining with Help for Heroes you too can do your bit to help them get better. Thank you.”
As well as racing from A1GP and support categories including the GT Cup, Formula Palmer Audi Championship and Lotus Elise Trophy on track, there will be a full program of off-track entertainment featuring driver autograph sessions and a raceday visit from Roary the Racing Car.
A1 Team Monaco’s Clivio Piccione was on the pitch last Saturday (18 April) ahead of the AS Monaco FC French Ligue 1 football match against Rennes at the Stade Louis II in Monaco. Piccione was on hand to support his local team as they beat the French squad 3-1 on home soil before he heads to the UK for the series next round A1GP Brands Hatch, Great Britain. Piccione had the chance to meet the AS Monaco FC team before he joined some local fans to enjoy the game. The six lucky winners were selected through A1 Team Monaco’s Club Card scheme, having club card numbers that matched Piccione’s quickest Algarve lap time.
“It’s great to get the chance to meet people who support you that are normally in the background,” said Piccione. “We spent the afternoon watching the game and talking about the match and my race in the Algarve. Monaco is a small country so it was a good opportunity to talk to fans who love what I’m doing.”
A1GP drivers had a successful weekend’s racing in America in the Firestone Indy Lights series. A1 Team USA’s rookie J.R. Hildebrand earned his second career victory on the streets of Long Beach last weekend. Hildebrand, who led the race from lights-to-flag said: “We just had a great car, and the ARPRO guys have just done a great job all weekend. We had a great car at St. Petersburg, but we had some mechanicals going on or we could have been just as good there. I have to give all the credit to the boys for picking it up after a rough weekend.”
About the racing conditions he continued: “It was getting hot out there. I feel like some of the other guys were dropping off a little quicker than I was. I think our fitness trainer will be getting a big hug when we get home. We had a good car, and that made my job easy.”
A1GP’s world feed pit lane reporter, and newly appointed TW Steel brand ambassador, James Hinchcliffe finished third, his second consecutive third-place finish in Indy Lights. New Brazilian rookie, Ana Beatriz claimed fifth, her second top-five finish of the season.
In the IRL Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach A1 Team USA’s Marco Andretti for Andretti Green Racing came home sixth, while A1 Team Netherland’s Robert Doornbos finished ninth off the back off his successful weekend in A1GP Algarve.
The penultimate stop for A1GP this season is A1GP Brands Hatch in Great Britain next month with the Kent venue playing host to what hopes to be an even more action-packed event than seen in Portugal. Battle resumes on 1 – 3 May 2009 when A1GP will get one step closer to seeing who will become the 2008/09 Champion.
2008/09 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport points standings
1 Switzerland 88
2 Ireland 86
3 Portugal 82
4 Netherlands 66
5 France 46
6 Malaysia 43
7 New Zealand 36
8 Australia 30
9 Monaco 27
10 Great Britain 24
11 USA 19
12 South Africa 19
13 Brazil 18
14 Italy 15
15 India 11
16 Mexico 8
17 Lebanon 8
18 China 7
19 Korea 4
20 Indonesia 3
21 Germany 2