2009–10 A1 Grand Prix season

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2009–10 A1 Grand Prix of Nations
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The 2009–10 A1 Grand Prix season would have been the fifth season of the A1 Grand Prix series. However, due to the series' financial insolvency, none of the originally scheduled races actually took place.[1][2]

It would have been the first season of a three-year deal with IMG Sports Media to handle all worldwide media rights for the series.[3]

Following doubts that the season would go ahead due to financial constraints and reports that engine suppliers Ferrari would pull out over non-payments, chairman of A1 Grand Prix Tony Teixeira, announced that the series had secured its long-term future, following a financial restructuring.[4] Doubts were reinforced by the high profile cancellation of the season's scheduled opening round in Australia for October 25.[5][6] With the Malaysian and Chinese rounds cancelled, the season was reduced to having only rounds occurring in 2010. The circuit meant to stage the Dutch event, then pre-empted likely cancellation by scheduling a different event for that date. By May 2010, none of the remaining scheduled races had taken place, confirming the end of A1GP.

Teams[edit]

Prior to the official list of teams originally supposed to compete in Australia being revealed, it was rumoured that the entry list would contain 20 teams, including a brand new team, and a revival of an older team.[7]

An official teams list for the Australian round was released on Tuesday 13 October.[8] The provisional list showed 19 teams, with Canada, Korea, Lebanon and Malaysia not returning. Several drivers had provisionally signed up for their respective nations including John Martin,[9] Felipe Guimarães,[10] Zahir Ali,[11] Satrio Hermanto,[11] Fairuz Fauzy, Aaron Lim, Luis Díaz, Salvador Durán, Robert Doornbos[12] and Jeroen Bleekemolen.[13]

Off-season Testing[edit]

A one-day test for all teams was to have been held at Queensland Raceway on October 19, the week before the opening round at Australia.[14] However as the cars were not due to arrive in Australia until Monday, the test session was cancelled.[15]

Season calendar[edit]

Prior to official announcement[edit]

  • It was announced on 25 June 2009 that the 2009–10 season would feature at least ten events, following FIA approval of the season's calendar.[16] Ten dates had been submitted, however there was also room for the addition of one or two extra dates to the calendar.
  • A race at Surfers Paradise, Australia, titled the Nikon SuperGP,[17] was confirmed for the weekend of 22–25 October 2009.[18][19] It was to be held at the Gold Coast, since the city lost its Indy 300 claim after having issues involving money and a change of date which saw them fail to renew their agreement with the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series. CART and IndyCar had been a major event, as had the V8 Supercars, on the Gold Coast for 18 years making it unknown whether or not the local public would have readily accepted the series change, as in recent years, the V8 Supercars had become the main draw.[20]
  • The Dutch round of the championship was confirmed to have moved from Circuit Park Zandvoort to TT Circuit Assen, to be held on the weekend of May 14–16, 2010.[21][22]
  • It has also been rumoured that season 5 would have seen the first Indian race.
  • Following on from the success of A1 Team Ireland in the 2008–09 season, Ireland could have played host to a round of either the 2009–10 or the 2010–2011 season. Hermann Tilke and A1GP chairman Tony Teixeira were currently looking for interested parties and locations, with a street track located in the IFSC, Dublin having been earmarked as a possible location.[23]
  • It was reported in Autosport magazine that the series would race twice in China in season 5, as was the case in the 2006–07 and 2007–08 seasons.
  • It was thought that there would be a New Zealand round at the new Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, however the circuit did not host a round of the 2009–10 season.[24]

Official schedule[edit]

On 21 September 2009 the series announced a nine-round calendar, which stated the nine nations that would play host to an event, but did not name which circuits would host those particular events.[3] The expected street race in Indonesia was a notable omission, while Great Britain, host of the season finale in the previous three seasons, did not have a round named. Rumoured rounds in India and Ireland did not come to fruition. However, A1GP chairman Tony Teixeira said "I am confident this calendar, that may still include at least one more event, will achieve our criteria for the series".

It was announced on 17 October 2009 that the opening round at Surfers Paradise in Australia was cancelled, as the cars and other equipment for the A1GP teams had still not left London, and would not arrive in time for the event.[25] Modifications to the V8 Supercars schedule was made to fill the gaps in the schedule.[6] On 5 November 2009, the Malaysian date at the Sepang International Circuit was postponed indefinitely,[26] and on the same day, the Chinese round was also confirmed as cancelled.[27] The Dutch round at Assen was cancelled, with A1GP being replaced with a Superleague Formula race.[28]

Country Circuit Date
Australia Australia Surfers Paradise Street Circuit 25 October 2009
China China Zhuhai International Circuit 15 November 2009
Malaysia Malaysia Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur 6 December 2009
South Africa South Africa Kyalami, Johannesburg 28 February 2010
Brazil Brazil Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo 14 March 2010
Mexico Mexico Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City 21 March 2010
Portugal Portugal Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, Portimão 11 April 2010
Germany Germany Sachsenring 9 May 2010
Netherlands Netherlands TT Circuit Assen 16 May 2010

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Season 5 unlikely to take place". a1.gpupdate.net (GPUpdate). 4 January 2010. Retrieved 29 January 2011. 
  2. ^ "Exciting Motor Racing Opportunity – A1 Grand Prix". go-dove.com (GoIndustry DoveBid News). 2010-02-10. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  3. ^ a b "2009/10 schedule announced". A1 Grand Prix. 2009-09-21. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  4. ^ Hutchins, LJ (2009-09-26). "Series sends out mixed messages about the future". Brits on Pole (Onlineability). Retrieved 2010-07-09. 
  5. ^ "A1GP statement". a1gp.com (A1 Grand Prix). 2009-10-17. Archived from the original on 19 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  6. ^ a b Mival, Al (2009-10-17). "V8 Supercars to replace scrapped event as A1GP cars fail to show". couriermail.com.au. Archived from the original on 20 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  7. ^ "Tyres 'on way' as A1GP seeks court reprieve". goldcoast.com.au. 2009-10-07. Archived from the original on 10 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  8. ^ "Gold Coast entry list announced". (a1gp.com) A1 Grand Prix. 2009-10-12. Archived from the original on 18 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-14. 
  9. ^ "Martin targets home win in Surfers Paradise". GPUpdate.net (GPUpdate). 25 September 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2011. 
  10. ^ Guimarães, Evelyn (2009-10-17). "Fittipaldi fala que A1GP tem "gás", mas não confirma etapa no Brasil". Esporte (in Portuguese) (Internet Group). Retrieved 2010-07-09. 
  11. ^ a b Herling Kalumata, Reky (2009-10-15). "Indonesia Tetap Andalkan Satrio & Zahir". Detiksport (in Indonesian) (Detikcom). Retrieved 2010-07-09. 
  12. ^ "Doornbos opent voor Nederland". De Telegraaf (in Dutch) (Telegraaf Media Groep). 2009-10-15. Retrieved 2010-07-09. 
  13. ^ "Doornbos niet weg bij HVM". Foksport (in Dutch) (True). 2009-10-17. Retrieved 2010-07-09. 
  14. ^ "2009/10 testing plans announced". A1 Grand Prix. 2009-09-07. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  15. ^ Edmistone, Leanne (2009-10-16). "A1GP cars 'will arrive on time'". news.com.au. Archived from the original on 17 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  16. ^ "2009/10 calendar approved by FIA". A1 Grand Prix. 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2009-06-25. 
  17. ^ "Nikon snaps up SuperGP". crash.net (Crash Media Group). 2009-09-07. Retrieved 2010-07-09. 
  18. ^ "A1GP to race in Surfers Paradise". A1 Grand Prix. 2008-11-11. Archived from the original on 13 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  19. ^ "Surfers Paradise lands five-year deal". Autosport. 2008-11-11. Retrieved 11 November 2008. 
  20. ^ "The End of Indy", Wheels Magazine Australia website, 11 november 2008
  21. ^ "A1GP heads to Assen in 2009/10". A1 Grand Prix. 2009-05-16. Archived from the original on 31 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-16. 
  22. ^ "A1GP: Zandvoort raakt A1GP kwijt aan Assen". autosport.nl. 2009-05-15. Archived from the original on 19 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-15. 
  23. ^ "A1GP may come to Dublin". RTÉ. 2009-05-17. Retrieved 2009-05-18. 
  24. ^ "Hampton Downs secures A1GP event". Yahoo! (Yahoo!Xtra Sport). 2009-09-03. Retrieved 2010-07-09. 
  25. ^ Greg Stolz and David Murray (2009-10-17). "A1GP race cars still in UK as Gold Coast event in limbo". couriermail.com.au. Archived from the original on 12 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  26. ^ "Uncertainty over A1GP's survival". The Star. Retrieved 2009-11-05. 
  27. ^ "A1GP cancels China and Malaysia". Autosport. Archived from the original on 8 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-05. 
  28. ^ "12 races on the 2010 Superleague Formula by Sonangol schedule". superleagueformula.com (Superleague Formula). 2010-01-12. Archived from the original on 15 January 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-12.