A1 Grand Prix South Africa
The A1 Team South Africa is the South African team of A1 Grand Prix, an international racing series. The car for Team South Africa was first presented to the public in November 2004.
Team owner is Tokyo Sexwale and for the 2006/07 season South Africa have enlisted DAMS to run their car, the outfit which ran the French and Swiss teams to 1st and 2nd places in 2005/06.
The main driver for the 2005/6 and 2006/7 seasons is Capetonian Stephen Simpson and Adrian Zaugg.
The A1 Grand Prix was launched in 2004 by Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum of Dubai, with the first season taking place in 2005/2006 after A1 Grand prix received the official FIA backing.
The A1 Grand Prix is pretty unique in many respects. Unlike most racing cups, the A1 Grand Prix is nation-based rather than team-based. Each team drives an identical car provided by the A1GP federation. This puts the emphasis on team efforts and driver skills, avoiding technical advantage between teams.
The cars are powered by a performance-limited Zytek 3.4 litre V8 engine, the Lola designed chassis is made out of 600kg monocoque and Cooper 370/660R13 slick tires keep the beasts on the track.
A ‘secret-weapon’ is the boost-function. The so-called ‘Boost-Button’ on the driving wheel allows the driver to increases the engine output, revs and horsepower for overtaking maneuvers. Identical for each car, the pre-programmed overtake button can only be used a limited number of times in a single race.
Each A1 Grand Prix season contains 12 rounds over 24 races. Each race lasts either 180 kilometers or 70 minutes. The first ever A1 Grand Prix race was won by Angelo Piquet for Team Brazil, while A1 Team France scooped the first cup in 2006, with Switzerland second and Great Britain third.
The second season is currently underway, with the final race on 29 April 2007 at Brands Hatch – don’t miss your chance to get your tickets for the A1 Grand Prix.