FOR THE RUNNER-UP SPOT
A1 Team France is getting ready for the final round of the 2007/2008 A1 GP World Cup of Motorsport this weekend on the Brands Hatch circuit in England. The team is currently lying in 3rd place in the overall ratings 10 points behind New Zealand, and is hoping to overtake its antipodean rival to finish in the runner-up spot.
To achieve this aim it can count on the talent of Franck Montagny in the races and Nicolas Prost, its test driver. They will be closely watched by 2 French drivers who have both racked up an impressive series of results, in particular 4-times F1 world champion Alain Prost. He will join A1 Team France’s team manager Olivier Panis, who also has an impressive career behind him in F1.
They will give the squad the benefit of their experience, and will draw lots in the competition launched last weekend during the display of the cars in Regent’s Street in London. The lucky winner will receive a driver’s suit autographed by French driver, Loïc Duval. Brands Hatch hosted the first A1GP race in 2005. The circuit saw the light of day in 1926 when it was a grass track for motorbikes.
The present 4.22 km layout was created in 1959. It shared the British Grand Prix with Silverstone for a time and now hosts rounds of the DTM and WTCC. It has one of the legendary bends in motor racing, Paddock Hill corner, which has seen a number of spectacular accidents over the years. The Brands Hatch round usually provides its fair share of twists and upsets.
A1 Team France will try and make the most of them to end the championship on another victory. Olivier Panis, sporting director: “This season’s A1 GP has been very closely fought. It’s passed in a flash and we can hardly believe that we’re racing in the final round this weekend. Three weeks ago our hopes of winning the title vanished, but we’ve set ourselves another challenge and we’re out to finish the championship in second place. To achieve this we’ve only got one solution: step-by-step progress and no mistakes!”
Franck Montagny: “After having racked up the mileage on the Shanghai circuit in the races I think I know how to get the best out of the A1 single-seater. The fact that we’re racing at Brands Hatch is an advantage for me, as I’ll tackle the circuit without any prior F1 experience. I’m determined to do everything I can to help the team end the season on a high note.”
Nicolas Prost: “It’s the home stretch for A1 Team France and each team member will be out to do his/her very best this weekend. Finishing on the final podium would be a great reward for all the effort that’s been made this year.”