A1GP: Kerr in car for Taupo, NZ

By Andy Darley

CalendarThursday, January 17th, 2008

 
 

Robbie Kerr is to drive for Team GBR in round five of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport – due to be held in Taupo, New Zealand from Friday January 18.

And he will have his work cut out to make an impression on the third-placed home team, currently nine points ahead of the Brits in the standings.

A1GP visited the 3.5km circuit for the first time last season but it was not a happy experience for the British squad after its race weekend was blighted with problems.

However the team has had both a rest and a change. Alterations since last year have transformed turn 12 from a smooth fourth gear corner to a 90 degree left-hander.

This should create an extra overtaking opportunity in a race that organisers say is set to provide a thrilling start to 2008.

Team GBR will welcome a new rookie driver as 26-year-old 2007 Formula Renault V6 Champion and Australian F3 racer James Winslow is to take part in the hour session in Taupo.

Based in Melbourne, James will not have to travel far to join the team in New Zealand and he will be hoping his talent behind the wheel will help the team get quickly on the pace.

Kerr’s last race appearance was in the Czech Republic where he came second in the Sprint Race.

The Leicestershire racer will draw on his track experience from the 2007 race and hope to score some vital points as the team chases current leaders, Switzerland, currently nearly 30 points in advance of Team GBR.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to getting back in the A1GP car in Taupo. After the disappointment last year where we suffered front wing damage followed by battery failure, we’re going there to make amends and achieve two strong results.

“It’s also fantastic that the bio-fuel is finally in the car and that, through A1GP, racing is getting greener.”

Winslow added: “It’s a great honour to get the opportunity to join A1 Team GBR, particularly as I’ve wanted to drive in A1GP ever since the series started.

“Obviously I’d like to be quickest in the rookie session, but I’ll also be there in a supporting role throughout the weekend to assist the team and Robbie in any way I can.”

Team principal Katie Clements said her team’s focus would be to move up the points table.

“Despite the issues faced by the team last season in New Zealand, Robbie was still fast and gave a strong performance, so I’m feeling confident that we will be right in the mix again.

“I also look forward to supporting our most capped driver as he takes to the race-track using bio-fuel for the first time in the history of A1GP.”

Saturday’s qualifying starts at 1415 local time (0115 GMT) with Sunday’s 20-minute sprint race starting at 1100 local time (Saturday 2200 GMT) and the 70-minute feature race starting at 1500 local time (0200 GMT).

The Taupo race will mark A1GP becoming the first global motorsport body to switch to a 30 per cent biofuel mix to help reduce its environmental footprint.

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