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Team Ireland gears up for season two

NEWS STORY
18/07/2006

Ireland's entry in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport is gearing up for the second season of the ambitious new series which is set to start with a capacity crowd at the A1GP Zandvoort, Netherlands, on 1 October 2006. Following the inaugural season during which the team scored a raft of top points finishes A1 Team Ireland is currently rebuilding its A1GP cars in the A1GP Technical Centre at Silverstone and will next month be seen on the streets of Manchester as part of the Sky Festival weekend on 11-13 August. The Irish team will give a high speed display of its 550bhp grand prix style car alongside selected A1GP rivals on a purpose built street track.

A1 Team Ireland, which operates from headquarters offices in Ballymount, Dublin, has had a busy three months since the inaugural season came to a close at the A1GP Shanghai, China. With pre-season testing set to commence in August, the Irish team is aiming to bring its car back to Ireland in the coming weeks as it finalises sponsorship, the driver line-up and logistical planning ahead of the provisional 13-race calendar of races.

"The coming weeks are going to be extremely busy for us as we prepare for the second season of A1GP racing," said team boss Mark Kershaw. "We have a number of announcements planned, together with the development of an entirely new livery for the team and of course the all-important matter of securing sponsors and finalising the driver line-up."

Last season A1 Team Ireland's entry was driven during the season by former Jordan Formula One driver Ralph Firman, who secured the team's best result with a 3rd place in the Portuguese event, and Rathfarnham's Michael Devaney, one of the most impressive young drivers to have emerged from the series.

"The driver selection is obviously vital for us and we have been in contact with all the likely candidates," Kershaw confirmed. "Ireland made a good impact on A1GP in the first season and our commitment for the second season is to further commit ourselves to up and coming Irish drivers. We will be having meetings with some of the candidates in Dublin this week, but for the moment are in no rush to make a decision. Attracting commercial support from Irish businesses, both at home and abroad, remains a major focus while we are also making changes to the technical personnel within the team in an effort to raise our game. Our goal remains to win races and the World Cup of Motorsport title for Ireland."

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