Still buzzing from the success of its inaugural race, the World Cup of Motorsport has arrived in Germany for the next A1 Grand Prix of Nations at EuroSpeedway, Lausitz. While the race teams prepared the A1 cars for another weekend of fierce competition, some of the drivers headed for nearby Berlin to see the Olympic Stadium, host to a number of matches in the next soccer World Cup. Striving for victory on the track, the A1 drivers showed their competitive spirit on the football field as well when a bit of last minute training resulted in a number of 100m Sprint races.
A1 Team Germany’s driver, Timo Scheider spoke confidently about the prospect of racing at his home track. “I am very happy to be driving in front of the German spectators and I am looking forward to the feeling when I see the German flags on the grandstands for the first time – it was a strange feeling at Brands Hatch when Robbie Kerr went out and all the home fans started waving their flags. I am sure it really is going to be very special. I have already driven at EuroSpeedway, Lausitz three times in DTM so that means I have a lot of experience at the track. For me it is going to be a very different story compared to Brands Hatch as there, first of all, I had to learn the track. Everything was very new for me – the Team, the car, the track. When I go to EuroSpeedway on Friday and put my first set of new tyres on, I will know immediately the line I have to take and the set up of the car. This is the first time since ’99 that I have been back in a single seater, I feel quite confident although the car is completely different in driving style to the GT that I am currently racing.”
Meanwhile, A1 Team Czech Republic took the opportunity to show off their A1 race car, emblazoned in the red, white and blue of their national flag to the public they hope will support them as they travel the globe with the A1GP series.
In a mini tour of the capital city, the A1 car was displayed to Prime Minister Jiri Paroubeck in the parliament building gardens before heading to the home of the country’s President, Prague Castle where Aston Villa and Czech international player Milan Baros was shown around the car.
Antonin Charouz, A1 Team Czech Republic’s seat holder said: “I think that today’s presentation was very good one and I have a good feeling about it. The fact, that His Highness Sheikh Maktoum was here even though his is very busy man, and that we had a meeting with the Czech Prime Minister Paroubek, makes evident that it is a very special moment and the media interest was corresponding. I presume that motorsport never had such publicity before in the Czech Republic. We have seen once again that the decision to count on national pride, which is the aim behind the World Cup of Motorsport, can do unprecedented things. I would like to ask many Czech fans to come to EuroSpeedway this weekend. The track is quite near from our north border and they can see the second race live.”
Tomas Enge, A1 Team Czech Republic’s main driver who will take to the EuroSpeedway track this weekend said: “We are all proud that we will represent the Czech Republic and we will do our maximum to score the best possible results. Today’s events have been very varied and we very appreciate that His Highness Sheikh Maktoum and the Prime Minister Paroubek took part in it. I hope that the Czech fans will welcome the idea of competition of nations and that many of them will support as at EuroSpeedway this weekend.”
Speaking at a reception for A1 Team Czech Republic, A1 Grand Prix Founder, President and Chairman Sheikh Maktoum said: “For the Czech Republic to be among the 25 national teams competing in the World Cup of Motorsport, having been selected from the 207 countries in the world, is tribute to the entrepreneurial spirit of Antonin Charouz and people of the Czech Republic. With A1 Grand Prix, the people of the Czech Republic now have a national motorsport team to support with the same passion that they have demonstrated in their commitment to their national ice hockey team. A1 Team Czech Republic performed admirably in their first A1 Grand Prix of Nations less than two weeks ago and I am looking forward to seeing Tomas Enge compete this weekend at EuroSpeedway. Our first race was a huge success and I hope the Czech people will make the journey across the border to support their national team and help make our second event as atmospheric as the first.”