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Duran and Perez for Mexico

NEWS STORY
29/09/2006

A1 Team Mexico is ready to participate in the first of the 12 races of the second A1GP World Cup of Motorsport season, which will be held this weekend at the 4.18-Km. (2.6-mile) Circuit Park Zandvoort. The team features drivers Salvador Duran and Sergio Perez behind the wheel and a new technical team.

"The new technical team was developed according to the new A1 regulations which limit the teams to work with a maximum of two countries, and Dams - the team which provided us technical assistance last season was going to work again with France and they also had an offer from South Africa. Then, we have received help from an A1 Team Principal to develop a new team called Teamex, who will be in charge of the technical side of the A1 Team Mexico," said Julio Jauregui, Executive Vice President of A1 Team Mexico.

"We gathered engineers, mechanics and directors with A1 and other series experience to build a competitive team. We have Jo Ramirez as Sport Vice President, who will try to be in attendance at most of the A1 races and will possibly go to Zandvoort. The team manager is Piers Masarati and the chief engineer is Vinit Patel, from England, who was engineer for T-Sport this year and won the British F3 National Class Championship with driver Rodolfo Gonzalez. Also, Crew Chief (Jerome) and Data Engineer (Emilie) were already with us last season. Now, our team comes prepared to be in the top-five positions and we expect to obtain a good result at Zandvoort in order to commence collecting points," he added.

On the other hand, lead driver of the Mexican team Salvador Duran made some comments about the new Teamex team that will represent Mexico: "This is a team that was built with the goal to have a competitive A1 Team Mexico. We have some team members who worked with us last year. My first and second mechanics are still with me. I think highly of my crew, we want to do the things in the best way possible. We will get along very well because I trust them and they trust me. This Thursday we will plan the strategy in a meeting in which 'Checo' (Sergio Perez) will also be there."

Regarding the weekend, he said: "There will be a rookie practice session and Sergio Perez will drive in it. This is very good because they provide an opportunity to the rookies to be prepared, to participate in a race later in the year. At the moment, before I give an opinion about how is going to be our performance, first we have to see how we are doing in comparison to our rivals, how the practices are developed... but I am sure we are going to be among the strongest ones and we are working on that. I trust the crew and engineers. I feel this is a very good team and everything is going to be well from the beginning."

When he was questioned about his new team-mate, he said: "To me it is excellent that 'Checo' is with us. I get along with him very well and from now on I assure you the things will go very well. On the other hand, I want to thank Telmex and Mexico (Council of Tourist Promotion) for the support and the confidence shown to me and the team, and I hope to pay back this confidence and support with good results."

Regarding the track, he said he already knows it, "I was here in the Masters and it is a very technical track, very different, it has a lot of elevation changes. The track wears out the tyres and the drivers as well. It is important to be in a good physical condition."

The official test driver for the Mexican team also raced at this track. He said: "I raced here not too long ago in a German Formula BMW two-race meeting. On the first race I was fifth and on the second I finished third, reaching the podium. Zandvoort is a very difficult track, with blind turns. It is going to be difficult for me, with little time behind the A1 wheel, because it is a car with a lot of power, but we will get the most out of this experience. Here the wind blows a lot and the sand creeps into the track. This causes the surface to change very much. Overall, it is a difficult circuit. I hope we have a good weekend and that the team achieves very good results."

About his recent inclusion in the Mexican team, the Mexican driver said: "This is a great opportunity. The A1 is a new car for me; I know nothing about it. I hope I can help the team and 'Chava' (Salvador Duran). We are going to wait until Friday to know more details about everything, because that day I will drive this car for the first time in this circuit. I want to thank my sponsors, Mexico (Council of Tourist Promotion) and Telmex, and A1 Team Mexico for giving me this opportunity and I hope our fellow Mexicans support us, because 'Chava', all the team and I need all this support, since we are racing for Mexico, for our country and we have our colours in our heart."

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