This week, A1 Team France has arrived in Shanghai (China) where the second-last round of the A1 World Cup of Motorsport will take place from 11 th to 13 th April.
With eight rounds gone the French team is in third place overall 20 points behind the leader, Switzerland. It has scored 1 victory, 7 podiums and 12 finishes in the points: despite the gap the title is still within its grasp.
The last 4 races will be hotly contested and it looks like being the closest finish in the history of the World Cup of Motorsport, as mathematically speaking, with a total of 64 points up for grabs 8 teams can still win the crown.
A1 Team France has called in Franck Montagny to defend its colours along with Nicolas Prost. The latter will do the rookie testing on Friday and Franck will then take over for the rest of the weekend. He is very motivated by the challenge that the team has offered him, and has re-arranged his schedule to race in the final rounds of the season. The 30-year-old Frenchman drove in 7 F1 grand prix in 2006 with the Super Aguri team. He was also the official Renault F1 test driver between 2003 and 2005 and filled the same role for Toyota in 2007.
The Shanghai circuit built in 2004 is one of the most modern on the A1GP calendar. For more spectacular racing 3 corners have been removed from the layout used by the F1 cars in the Chinese Grand Prix and a chicane has been added. The main straight is 1 kilometre long and the first corner provides overtaking opportunities. So it looks like all the ingredients are in place for a superb weekend’s motor racing.
Olivier Panis, sporting director:
“We’re very happy to welcome Franck to the team. Our aim is to make him feel at home right from the word go, and make it as easy as possible to help him get to grips with the car when he begins the set-up work. Franck’s arrival in the team has generated a frenzy of enthusiasm in France, which has boosted our motivation and our desire to do well ten fold. Once again our objective will be to make no mistakes during the weekend, fine-tune our strategy and refuelling stops and go for the podium. If, after this weekend, we’re still in the running for the title anything could happen at Brands Hatch in the final round.”