IN CHINA FOR A1 TEAM GBR
A1 Team Great Britain look ahead to competing in China with the new A1GP Powered by Ferrari car piloted by Danny Watts
A1 Team Great Britain will get its 2008/09 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport season underway next week when it takes part in round two of the championship at the Chengdu circuit in China with its new A1GP Powered by Ferrari car, having unfortunately missed the season opener at Zandvoort at the beginning of October. Danny Watts will begin the championship campaign for GBR, and will become the fourth driver to race for his nation, while James Winslow will undertake reserve driver duties.
Danny is no stranger to A1GP, having tested both the previous Lola-Zytek car and the new Powered by Ferrari car during its development process, and he also drove in the rookie practice sessions for A1 Team GBR at the Zhuhai event in December 2007. The 28-year-old has enjoyed a successful ten year racing career to date, which has spanned single seaters and GT racing. He won the 1998 British Formula First and the 2002 Formula Renault British Championship, following that up by racing extensively in British, Asian and American championships. He won multiple races in the British Formula 3 Championship and was selected as part of the Renault F1 Team Driver Development Programme.
With GBR finishing in the bronze position in season three after scoring two race wins and eight further podiums, the focus is now on the team, which remains unchanged from last season, to work hard to adapt quickly to the new A1GP Powered by Ferrari car. After finishing in third position in all three seasons so far, GBR is aiming to break their results records in season four and take the championship title.
Now in its fourth season, A1GP has embarked on an historical partnership with Ferrari, which will see all the teams running brand new A1GP Powered by Ferrari cars. The 600bhp machine will run on Michelin tyres and is one of the fastest racing cars in motorsport today. Despite the new machinery, A1GP remains committed to truly competitive racing and therefore retains aerodynamics which promote overtaking. In addition, the cars feature no electronic aids – truly a test of driver capability.
Danny Watts: “It’s a great privilege and honour to be asked to drive for A1 Team GBR, having represented the team once before in Zhuhai last season. I’ve had the experience of driving both A1GP cars, and the new Powered by Ferrari car is certainly a big step up in all areas. There will be more for me and the team to learn technically. So it will definitely be a challenge and a big weekend for Britain, particularly having missed the first round. The biggest goal will be to score as many points as possible in Chengdu in order to get GBR’s Championship battle underway as we cannot drop any races for the rest of the year.”
Katie Clements, Team Principal, A1 Team GBR: “After the very disappointing, yet unavoidable, car build schedule delays which prevented us from competing in Zandvoort, I am delighted that we will finally be in action with the new car next week. Despite missing a round, we are keen to make an impact in China and prove that we are championship contenders in what I am sure will be the most competitive season yet. With Danny’s impressive racing background and his experience with the new A1GP Powered by Ferrari car, we are looking forward to a fruitful first race weekend of our campaign.”