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Brazil 'geared up' for season opener

NEWS STORY
28/09/2006

A1 Team Brasil will gets its 2006/07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport campaign underway this weekend at the Circuit Park Zandvoort in The Netherlands for the first round of the new season. Tuka Rocha will lead the charge for the team, with Ruben Carrapatoso as reserve driver. Tuka will compete the two main practice sessions, qualifying and both the sprint and feature races for the team, with Ruben taking part in the new 'rookie-only' practice sessions on Friday. As with last year, there will be a familiar face on the Team Brasil pitwall in the form of Emerson Fittipaldi who, as well as holding the Seatholder position, will once more take on team principal duties for the team.

Emerson Fittipaldi: "I'm sure we are going to have a very strong start to the second A1GP season, maybe even stronger than Brands Hatch last year where we received a fantastic crowd, because Zandvoort is sold out and they are building up extra grandstands! We've also been hearing about a huge crowd in Brno, and the first race in the streets of Beijing is going to be a landmark. It's all looking good for Team Brasil this season as well. Tuka Rocha is familiar with the car and the team, he is very confident and his performances in F3000 have showed speed and consistency. He also did a very good job at the test at Silverstone in August. We've retained the same technical team, and this year our partner on the car set-up with be Team Czech Republic. Tomas Enge is a very talented and experienced driver, and I think this will help us a lot. I think Tomas and Tuka will be able to form a good partnership, exchanging information to optimize our set-ups. Zandvoort is a very fast track, and I think A1 will put it back on the race map again."

Tuka Rocha: "I'm really looking forward to getting the new season underway. I am very proud that I have been given the opportunity to lead the team for the first three races and I hope to make the team and my country proud. The first race in a championship is always very important and I am excited to see what results we can achieve. The test session at Silverstone went quite well for us, so it's important now to make the most out of the practice sessions on Friday and Saturday. I haven't raced at Zandvoort before so it will be important for me to learn the circuit quickly and then concentrate on getting the best set-up for qualifying and the race."

Ruben Carrapatoso: "Despite the fact that I've been driving touring cars the last two years, I had no trouble adapting to the A1 car at the Silverstone test. After the third lap I was totally comfortable and happy. Going from stock cars back to open wheel racing is a dream. To drive for my country is something different to anything I've done before, I think it gives the team something to really work for. I'll do my best to help Tuka and the team and to show that I deserve the opportunity that Emerson has given me."

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