A1 Team Brazil set for new challenges in South Africa

A1 Team Brazil set for new challenges in South Africa

14.02.2009: The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport moves to South Africa for round five of the 2008/09 season, and will face the new challenges of the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in Gauteng, as the South African event visits Kyalami for the first time after racing the last

The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport moves to South Africa for round five of the 2008/09 season, and will face the new challenges of the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in Gauteng, as the South African event visits Kyalami for the first time after racing the last three seasons on the Durban street circuit. 17-year-old Felipe Guimarães will be in action for A1 Team Brazil as the squad tackle this new A1GP Gauteng event.

The Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit was opened 48 years ago in 1961 and has a rich motorsport history encompassing Formula 1 Grand Prix, MotoGP and World Superbike racing. A1 Team Brazil’s seatholder Emerson Fittipaldi has himself raced numerous times at the track, firstly during his illustrious F1 career and, more recently, in its new 4.26km configuration as he took part in the GP Masters event two years ago. The circuit was modified to its current layout in 1991 and has remained largely unchanged since then, with just one chicane added at the penultimate corner.

Felipe Guimarães:
“Every circuit this season has been brand new for me so this one will be no different, it’s just that it will also be new for everyone else. What I have understood this season is that I have the ability to learn each circuit very quickly and there is no reason why I cannot do the same at Kyalami. I have been practicing endlessly on computer games to learn the circuit before I arrive there so we can get straight to work on set-up.

I learned a lot from my mistakes in New Zealand but we have taken a huge positive in the speed we have shown over the past few events. Emerson has been able to talk to me about the circuit as he drove it a couple of years ago and I understand that it is a smooth, fast track although it does look difficult. He is a great source of information and that will be useful I’m sure over the race weekend. We’re aiming for top five finishes, top three if possible.”

Emerson Fittipaldi, Team Principal:
“It is fantastic that A1GP is heading to Kyalami, which has such a rich motor racing history. In the fifty years the track has been there, it has been filled with some amazing events and some of the greats such as Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart have great stories of racing. South Africa has a great tradition of Grand Prix racing and Kyalami is a very traditional GP circuit.

 I last drove it two years ago in the GP Masters and it has been modified since F1 last visited, but it is still a very fast, challenging track and is very undulating. It is great fun to drive on and there are two good places for overtaking. This is a new track for everyone and as such it will be difficult to know the set-up of the car. The trick of the weekend will be to try to find the right set-up quickly. If we can be fast on Friday that will be a great start.”


A1GP Gauteng Schedule (local times)


Friday 20 February:

10.45-12.05: Practice Session 1 (Rookies and developing nations only)
14.00-15.00: Practice Session 2


Saturday 21 February:

11.00-12.00: Practice Session 3
14.15-15.10: Qualifying


Sunday 22 February:

11.00-11.25: Sprint Race
15.00-16.10: Feature Race


- Rebecca Banks-  photo A1GP

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14.02.2009 / MaP

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