A1 Team Brazil ready to hit the track in Zandvoort

05.10.2008: A1 Team Brazil ready to hit the track in Zandvoort

After a race against time to prepare its new A1GP Powered by Ferrari car, A1 Team Brazil is delighted to announce that it will be ready to race in tomorrow’s season opener in Zandvoort, the Netherlands. With the chassis only arriving at the Dutch track this morning, it was all hands on deck at the Brazilian garage to get the car race ready.

Brazil will join A1 Team China in an early morning practice session tomorrow morning to run the car ahead of the morning Sprint race, which will begin at 11am local time.

Leading the charge for Brazil for its championship assault in the 2008/09 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport will be Felipe Guimarães, the 17- year-old hotshot from Brasilia. Felipe is seen as one of Brazil’s brightest prospects, with a natural speed and talent that belies his age and experience.

He only began his single-seater career in 2007,  when he burst onto the scene competing a part-season in the South American Formula 3 Championship. He propelled his way to fourth in the championship after scoring two race wins and six further podiums, racing against much more experienced drivers.

Felipe joined A1 Team Brazil in March 2008 when he undertook rookie driver duties at the Mexico City race. He filled the position again at the Shanghai event the following month and also travelled with the team to the season finale in the UK. In the summer of 2008 Felipe competed in two Euroseries 300 events to gain furthersingle-seater

experience. He hit the radar once again by scoring pole position on his first time out, and finishing on the podium in second in the race. In August he won the coveted Brazilian National Karting Championship - the top level of karting in Brazil.

As well as a new driver, season four sees Brazil strengthening its engineering team, with the appointment of Dan Walmsley in the position of Chief Engineer. Dan joins the team fresh from engineering A1 Team Ireland to its first race win in A1GP competition at the Mexico City event in season three. Following the win, Ireland finished 6th in the overall championship standings and won the award for the most improved team.

Dan began his engineering career at McLaren Cars as a development engineer on the Mercedes-McLaren SLR and moved into motor racing four years later, joining Lister Storm Racing as Chief Engineer. He has a wide range of racing engineering experience, having held positions in World Series by Renault, the GP2 Series and the British Touring Car Championship.

With this new invigorated team, A1 Team Brazil is determined to return to racing at the front in season four of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, and allow Brazilian fans all over the world to be proud of their national team’s achievements.

Emerson Fittipaldi, Team Principal: "I’m sure this season will be the best yet, both in terms of A1 Team Brazil and the series overall. I am proud to have Felipe as our driver this year as he is one of the brightest talents to have appeared on the Brazilian motor racing scene in the last few years. We have renewed our partnership with Banco Sofisa and have a strengthened engineering team.

The new A1GP Powered by Ferrari cars are fantastic and I am sure we are going to see some great races and great overtaking. The arrival of Andretti Green with A1 Team USA is a coup for A1GP and shows how the series is respected by some of the biggest names in the business."

Felipe Guimarães: "I know we are racing tomorrow with a disadvantage to some teams and drivers who have already run in the new car, but that is the situation so I have to adapt to the car as quickly as possible, give valuable information to my engineer and find a competitive set-up.

I have very experienced people behind me and our  expectation is to be in the front group in the first races."


- Rebecca Banks-

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/a1-team-brazil-zandvoort-car-ready-emerson-fittipaldi-felipe-guimaraes---45588.html

05.10.2008 / MaP

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