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(Post Link) post #1 of 20 Old 22-09-05 Thread Starter
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Place your bets folks...

...on how long this is going to last -- or if it even gets off the ground.



`Madman' launches new racing circuit
Canadian team among 25 national squads in A-1 Grand Prix series Sheik from Dubai promises it `will be bigger than Olympics'


JIM BYERS
SPORTS REPORTER
THE TORONTO STAR

It sounds like auto racing meets the Olympics, but a newly-formed world circuit where drivers will represent their countries instead of their manufacturers is scheduled to go this weekend.

Racers representing 25 countries, including Canada, will gun their engines Sunday at England's Brands Hatch for the first event of the A-1 Grand Prix circuit's 12-race season, which will take place mostly when Formula One drivers are sipping margaritas on the beach.

Sheikh Maktoum-Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum, the nephew of Dubai's crown prince, is said to have invested more than $200 million (U.S.) into the operation, which has taken three years to develop.

"It's a cross between the high profile of F1, the overtaking and excitement of LeMans and the audience interaction you get with NASCAR," Maktoum told Britain's The Guardian in a not-so-understated moment. "The difference is it will be bigger than the Olympic Games, bigger even than the football World Cup."

But there were early signs of trouble this week when the owner of the Canadian team had to be replaced at the last minute. The deal with Toronto businessman J. Jay Jaski fell through, officials said and businessman Wade Cherwayko has jumped in. Cherwayko, who is said to be Canadian but appears to do most of his business overseas, was already the co-owner of the British entry.

The drivers are mostly unknown. Canada will be represented by Vancouver's Sean McIntosh, 20, who will jump from the 200-horsepower cars of Formula Renault to the 520 horsepower of A-1 Grand Prix.

McIntosh said the Canadian squad didn't come together until the last minute after the sudden change in ownership, but he sees a lot of promise.

"It'll take a bit of time for people to figure out what it is," he told the Star. "But the cars are designed so drivers can overtake each other, and if it provides exciting racing and people can get behind their country it'll be great."

McIntosh will be driving a bright white car with several red maple leafs.

"The flags look really cool," he said. "It's a real honour to hop in and represent your country."

A-1 spokesperson Nikki Rooke said the newcomer isn't aiming to rival F1.

"We run in the winter and they run mostly in the summer so we're not trying to compete. The sponsors will be different. But in F1 it's all about how well developed the cars are and how much money is put into them. Here, all the cars will be equal. And the emphasis is on countries. We have cars representing India, Pakistan, Lebanon and other places that usually haven't been involved in motor sports."

Organizers say the Austrian car will be run by former F1 champions Niki Lauda and Keke Rosberg and that the car will be driven by Lauda's son, Mathias. Soccer star Ronaldo and former F1 champ Emerson Fittipaldi are said to be fronting the Brazilian team.

The only North American race is slated for Laguna Seca, California next year.

McIntosh said organizers are expecting 40,000 fans at Brands Hatch.

"Only a madman like me can come up with an idea like this," Maktoum told The Guardian. "But I've gone from being called a madman to dreamer to visionary in a very short time."
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Con...l=970081602428
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Re: Place your bets folks...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toronto Spider
Soccer star Ronaldo and former F1 champ Emerson Fittipaldi are said to be fronting the Brazilian team.
Ronaldo?!?!?!?!?!?

I'll admit it, he's a great football player (go Real Madrid!), bu I don't think he has any business behind the wheel of a racecar...
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Re: Place your bets folks...

By fronting they mean putting up the money as the team owner, talking to the press and standing in the executive suites with a supermodel on his arm, drinking expensive bubbly, not driving the car. At least I truly hope not.
--Toronto
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Re: Place your bets folks...

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By fronting they mean putting up the money as the team owner, talking to the press and standing in the executive suites with a supermodel on his arm, drinking expensive bubbly, not driving the car. At least I truly hope not.
--Toronto
I hope you're right!!
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Re: Place your bets folks...

If the racing is good and the PR good enough then it has a chance....

A1 aka "Formula V' , could give some really fast and exciting racing .
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Re: Place your bets folks...

Well Parctice looks like alot of fun
F1-live
"Asian drivers struggled to make an impact as the new A1 Grand Prix series got off to a chaotic start at Brands Hatch on Friday. The new championship, which is billed as a World Cup of motorsport, pits nation against nation on the track, with a key feature being the arrival of countries so far unused to the sport.

But that grand design backfired as rookie drivers found the going tough. In the first practice session, India's Karun Chandhok caused the most spectacular accident when he turned in on ex-Formula One driver Jos Verstappen. The two cars made contact, pitching Chandhok into the air and badly damaging his car.
Chandhok had already allowed another Formula One refugee, Alex Yoong of Malaysia, to pass him but failed to notice the bright orange Netherlands car of Verstappen, causing the pile-up.

China's drivers have struggled to match their more experienced rivals in testing and again were caught out in practice. Their nominated driver Qinghua Ma spun at the fast Paddock Hill bend and brought out the red flags once again.

Collisions are rare in practice, with drivers concentrating on finding the perfect set-up for their cars, but the A1 GP debut bucked that trend. The problems continued in the second session, with Japan's Ryo Fukuda and Czech driver Jan Charouz both spinning off in quick succession. Russia's Nikolay Fomenko followed countryman Vasilev's lead by spinning first and then crashing into the barriers. Germany's Adrian Sutil almost collected the stricken Russian car, bringing out more red flags...."



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Re: Place your bets folks...

Is there an official website about the A1?
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Re: Place your bets folks...

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Originally Posted by THROTTLEMAN
Is there an official website about the A1?
Yes
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Re: Place your bets folks...

So obvious. Cheers Stori!
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Re: Place your bets folks...

Check the top speed... http://www.a1gp.com/results/OP1_Standing.php

Oh this Portuguese street racers...
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Re: Place your bets folks...

Brands Hatch - A1GP - Qualifying


Pos. A1 Team Driver Aggregate

1 Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr 2.30.789
2 New Zealand Matt Halliday 2.31.117
3 France Alexandre Premat 2.31.206
4 Australia Will Power 2.31.388
5 Great Britain Robbie Kerr 2.31.714
6 Switzerland Neel Jani 2.31.729
7 Mexico Salvador Duran 2.32.307
8 Pakistan Adam Khan 2.32.596
9 Malaysia Alex Yoong 2.32.632
10 Japan Ryo Fukuda 2.32.689
11 Portugal Alvaro Parente 2.32.705
12 Ireland Michael Devaney 2.32.811
13 Germany Timo Scheider 2.32.981
14 Netherlands Jos Verstappen 2.33.075
15 South Africa Stephen Simpson 2.33.086
16 Italy Enrico Toccacelo 2.33.232
17 USA Scott Speed 2.33.317
18 Indonesia Ananda Mikola 2.33.424
19 India Karun Chandhok 2.34.126
20 Czech Republic Jan Charouz 2.34.786
21 Canada Sean McIntosh 2.36.656
22 Austria Mathias Lauda 2.36.878
23 Lebanon Khalil Beschir 2.37.104
24 China Tengyi Jiang 2.38.750
25 Russia Alexey Vasiliev 2.41.303
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Re: Place your bets folks...

Looks like it could shape up to be a prety good race series, but the qualifying is a bit complicated.

Sunday is shaping up to be a mega day for motor sport, theres the start of the A1 series, motorbike racing AND a Grand Prix.



So much sport......so little time.
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Re: Place your bets folks...

It's on at 1PM on Sky sports 1 (401) so I'll tell you what I think later today (after the proper GP of course)

Cheers,
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Re: Place your bets folks...

A1 looks like it could have great potential. Almost too good to be true...
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Re: Place your bets folks...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbaddison
It's on at 1PM on Sky sports 1 (401) so I'll tell you what I think later today (after the proper GP of course)

Cheers,
Watched it & not too bad. Should keep me interested once F1 finishes.

I thought the racing would have been a bit closer though and thought there would defo be more overtaking. The drivers blamed that track!

F1 was sad & I'm sad for my man Schumacher! Well done Alonso but roll on next year for some Red REVENGE
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Re: Place your bets folks...

First race boring...but the second made up for it.
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It's on pay-per-view telly, is that right?

I couldn't see it listed on terrestrial or Eurosport...

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Re: Place your bets folks...

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Originally Posted by UnpredictableLips
It's on pay-per-view telly, is that right?

I couldn't see it listed on terrestrial or Eurosport...

- Lips
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TV listing-world wide
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Re: Place your bets folks...

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Originally Posted by Stori
BSKYB LTD in UK
TV listing-world wide
It's not pay per view but it is a subscription channel. Too rich for me. I went to Brands to see it live instead!

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Re: Place your bets folks...

I haven't seen it yet, but it sounds good. No, it won't replace the now uninteresting F1, but I think that given time, some people may favour this the same way DTM coverage is now favoured over the BTCC. Its simply going to provide more action.
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