Provisional 06/07 calendar unveiled

A1 Grand Prix organisers have unveiled a provisional calendar for the second season of the World Cup of Motorsport, containing up to seven new events

Provisional 06/07 calendar unveiled

After the success of the inaugural season's meetings was decidedly mixed, organisers have ditched some of the poorly attended races and replaced them with new events aimed at tapping into the on-track success of respective countries' A1 teams.

The provisional calendar contains 13 events, two more than last season, with new races in New Zealand, the Czech Republic and a second race in China in Beijing. There are also set to be new circuits used in Australia and Mexico, with one additional date to be added in South or North America.

Notably, the season finishes a month later than in 2005/06, and although it is a winter series, A1 GP will almost definitely overlap with GP2 as well as Formula One.

This poses a problem not only for the regular drivers, but also for the teams. Several teams are contracted to run A1 GP nations in the winter before moving to their summer programmes of GP2, Formula Three and World Series by Renault.

Last season's championship finale in China ended just two days before GP2 kicked off with the pre-race test in Valencia.

However, chief operating officer David Clare doesn't believe that this will be an issue.

"As we got to the end of the season last year, there was a group of drivers that had other arrangements," Clare told autosport.com.

"And we will have our own GP2 drivers and teams and there will be some conflict. But frankly they are representing their countries and we can't predict when the other races are going to be. So in consultation with the seatholders we decided when to time our events."

Final confirmation of some of the uncertain rounds will come within the next month including the location for the second Chinese round in Beijing. This will be a temporary venue, and not the Goldenport Circuit once mooted for the inaugural season.

The Australian round is set to move 15 miles east of last year's race at Eastern Creek, to a temporary circuit around Homebush Park, the main centre for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. There has been no official confirmation of this, although it is expected within the next month.

The New Zealand round will take place at the new Taupo track currently being upgraded to have the required the pit facilities.

"We are going to New Zealand because of the success of their car," said Clare. "After rugby and cricket, motor racing is their most popular sport and it will be the first international race to be held in the country for nearly 40 years. The population is small but there will be tremendous interest in the race."

The ninth round of the series will take place in either North or South America, but the venue has yet to be decided.

"In the next six weeks we should know," added Clare. "We have a number of different options open to us. The United States is an important market but because motorsport is big in the US, but you have to have a unique venue to be different from the competition.

"We have about five potential options we could go in North and South America."

The opening round of the season had already been confirmed for Zandvoort, Netherlands. Grandstand tickets for the event sold out within days of going on sale.

A1 Grand Prix: Season Two 2006/07 Provisional Calendar

Rnd Location Circuit Date 1 Netherlands Circuit Park Zandvoort 1 Oct 2006 2 Czech Republic Auto Motodrom Brno 8 Oct 2006 3 China Beijing 5 Nov 2006 4 Malaysia Sepang 26 Nov 2006 5 United Arab Emirates Dubai Autodrome 16 Dec 2006 6 New Zealand Taupo 21 Jan 2007** 7 Australia Sydney 4 Feb 2007 8 South Africa Durban (street race) 25 Feb 2007 9 South/North America 11/18 Mar 2007* 10 Mexico 25 Mar 2007 11 Indonesia 8 Apr 2007* 12 China Shanghai 15 Apr 2007 13 Great Britain Brands Hatch 29 Apr 2007 * To be confirmed ** Venue subject to agreement 
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