Boss defends ailing A1GP series

Mon, 6 October 2008, 03:32

Series boss Pete da Silva has responded to reports that the future of A1GP does not look bright.

After a diminished field raced in Holland last weekend, amid a raft of last-minute rule changes, serious questions are being asked about whether the self-styled ‘World Cup of Motorsport’ can survive its fourth season.

A spokesperson last week said the absence of six teams was simply the result of build delays with the series’ new powered-by-Ferrari car, but Team Germany chief Willi Weber said financial holdups could mean the squad does not return to the grid at all.

The Indian publication DNA, meanwhile, claims that the CEO of a majority stakeholder in the series has been removed for bad investments.

Da Silva links A1’s problems with the global financial crisis.

“It has affected everyone,” he said. “There has been a massive downturn and it would be foolish to say that we have remained insulated from it. We are facing the pinch like every other industry.

“And yet, we are hoping to get a return of investments by the end of this year. A1GP is in good health,” Pete da Silva added.

He said comparisons with formula one, or its feeder category GP2, are unfair.

“A1GP is like the world cup of football. It’s a nation versus nation contest. Besides, our footprint is much larger than GP2,” he remarked.

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