A1 GBR welcomes back Danny Watts

A1 Team Great Britain welcomes back Danny Watts to the cockpit for A1GP Gauteng, which will take place at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in South Africa

A1 Team Great Britain is pleased to announce the return of Danny Watts for next weekend’s A1GP Gauteng event, the fifth round of the 2008/09 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, which will take place at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in South Africa, 24km north of Johannesburg. Danny’s return comes after a one race hiatus last time out in New Zealand during which he celebrated the birth of his first son.

A1GP Gauteng at Kyalami is a brand new event in the fourth season calendar, after three previous races in South Africa took place at the unforgiving Durban street circuit in KwaZulu-Natal. Although new to A1GP, the Kyalami track is steeped in history as one of Grand Prix racing’s most recognised tracks. After opening in 1961, almost fifty years ago, the circuit has seen some unforgettable action across the disciplines of Formula 1, MotoGP and World Superbike racing. Next weekend a new era will arrive with A1GP drivers gracing the circuit that has seen wins in F1 from racing royalty including as Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell, Gilles Villeneuve, Niki Lauda, Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart.

The circuit is fast and undulating and looks set to be a challenge for all the drivers, whose aim will be to dial into the 4.26km track as fast as possible. The circuit retains much of its traditional grand prix nature, which promises to provide a thrilling A1GP event next weekend, although it has recently seen the addition of a chicane at the penultimate corner.

GBR head into A1GP Gauteng knowing that it must go all out to secure a strong championship points haul. Danny has performed brilliantly for the team in his two outings so far. A Feature race pole position in Chengdu, China straight out of the box was converted into two third-place podium finishes. That momentum carried through to Malaysia where Danny once again secured a front row start, although race success eluded the team due to technical issues in both the Sprint and Feature races.

Danny Watts: “I’m delighted to be back. I really didn’t want to miss the last one but I wanted to be there for the birth of my son. We’re sort of struggling in the points department at the moment so next weekend we’ve got to go out and get a really good result. A couple of podiums would be good. We’ll all be putting in our best efforts as normal. It will be my first time at the track but I’ve been watching some onboards from Nigel Mansell in 1992 to try to learn as much as I can before driving on it.”

Katie Clements, Team Principal: “I am delighted to welcome back Danny and I am very much looking forward to the new challenges that A1GP Gauteng will present. The team has always had the ability to adapt to a new circuit quickly, and I know the same is true of Danny. We know the team and Danny collectively have the talent and pace to be running up the front. While it is true that we are not where we wanted to be at this stage of the season, there are a lot of points available over the weekend and as always we will be putting in 110% effort to score as high as possible to be in the fight at the front of the championship.”

Saturday’s qualifying starts at 1415 local time (1215 GMT) with Sunday’s 25-minute Sprint race starting at 1100 local time (0900 GMT) and the 70-minute Feature race beginning at 1500 local time (1300 GMT).

Sky Sports 2 will broadcast all the live action from Gauteng, South Africa. Qualifying will be shown from 1200 Saturday 21 February with live racing action from 1130 Sunday 22 February. GBR race winner Oliver Jarvis will be in the Sky Sports studio on Sunday offering his expert opinion alongside pundit Tony Jardine. Channel Five will broadcast the highlights package at 0225 on Wednesday 25 February.