A1 GP set for Brands Hatch

UPDATE This rumor is now 'fact.' The opening round of the 2005 A1 Grand Prix series will be at Brands Hatch in the UK. The announcement was made today at the Autosport International Exhibition where A1 Grand Prix President, Sheikh Maktoum was accompanied by Jonathan Palmer, MotorSport Vision Chief Executive, and also by John Surtees, Chairman of the British A1 Grand Prix Team.

“The UK plays a very important part in the heart of international motorsport and has a great heritage, so in many ways it is fitting that the first ever A1 race is held there," said Sheikh Maktoum. "If you look at where we are with A1 it is obvious the UK has provided us with so much in terms of value. The fans are very knowledgeable and it is an honor and privilege to race at a venue with such a rich history. I very much hope that the 18th September will be an exciting day for everyone in the UK from all walks of life and all nationalities."

The race, which will take place at the Kent venue on 18th September 2005, will be one of the highlights of the Brands Hatch racing calendar this year, and a delighted Jonathan Palmer said: “We are thrilled to have the first ever event of this exciting new championship at Brands Hatch. MotorSport Vision is totally committed to revitalizing its circuits and returning Brands Hatch to the past glory days is a priority. It is a fabulous drivers’ circuit, steeped in history and has a fantastic atmosphere with the best viewing in Britain. Our three year agreement to host A1 Grand Prix now provides racing fans with a world class car racing event at Brands Hatch to complement our World Superbike Championship round, which is recognized as one of the best events in the championship, drawing a huge crowd." A1GP

01/12/05 Brands Hatch is closing in on a deal to stage the opening round of the new A1 Grand Prix series in September. The Dubai-based series, which is scheduled to complete its first season over the European winter of 2005-06, is in advanced negotiations with the Jonathan Palmer-owned track. If the event is rubber-stamped it would confirm the return of high-powered singles seaters to the former British Grand Prix circuit for the first time since the Champ Car World Series raced there in 2003. An A1 GP spokesman said: “We feel positive about the event, but there’s no deal done yet." If the race gets the green light, it seems likely that the 1.2-mile Indy configuration of the track will be used, although a spokesman for Brands Hatch said that there was a possibility that the full 2.6-mile Grand Prix layout could be used.

The A1 GP series, which mates a 500bhp Zytek V8 engine with a Lola chassis, had provisionally set its opening round for the Dubai Autodrome, but it now appears that the so-called World Cup of Motorsport will begin with two European events, with a round at Estoril in Portugal set to follow the Brands date. Autosport Magazine

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