A1 Grand Prix
A 1 Grand Prix, A1GP in short, was an auto racing series for the single make open wheel vehicles. In most of the formula races for cars, the competitors represented themselves or the team they are part of. On the contrary with the A1 GP, the competitors represented the nation. Actually, this racing sports event was called the motor racing event’s World Cup. FIA, sanctioned this concept and the races were held in the traditional Formula One off season, during the winter season of the Northern Hemisphere. Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum of Dubai was the one who came out with the nation based concept of the A 1 Grand Prix racing sport in the year of 2003. During 2006, when the A1 GP first season was successful, Sheik Maktoum announced in September, that he was to sell the position of A1 GP’s chairman and Director. During December 2006, the transfer of his shares to RAB capital was decided.
Sales of Franchises:
The sale of franchises is overseen by Brian Menell and Tony Teixeira. Of the 30 franchises, 23 of them were restricted to a few nations. The remaining 7 were opened for tender to various nations. During 2005 to 2006, 25 franchises were purchased. Initially 12 rounds were planned for this season. However, the race between Curitibia and Brazil was cancelled and this brought down the number of rounds to 11.
Seasons of A1GP:
A1 Team Brazil won the inaugural race of the series. Nelson Piquet jr had won this race for Brazil. However, it was France that won higher points and increased the gap with A1 Team France winning in Estoril and Malaysia. The next to follow up with France was the A1 Team Switzerland, which had 28 points lesser than France. A1 Team France became the first team to win the cup of A 1 Grand Prix with 172 points, followed by A1 Team Switzerland with 121 points and A1 Team Great Britain with 97 points.
In the second season of 2006 to 2007, there were many improvements brought in, mainly to improve the vision of the audience and the viewers of the race over the TV. Singapore and Greece teams joined the A1GP for the first time. Team Turkey failed to enter because lack of funds. Austria, Japan, Portugal, and Russia did not get through the second season, though they were part of the race in the first season of A1 Grand Prix. Team Portugal managed to take part in the last four of the second season, after it managed to get the funds. The second season’s winner is Team Germany, and Team New Zealand won the second place with 93 points, 35 points lesser than that of Team Germany.
The third season saw female drivers, Rahel Frey and NatachaGachnang. The qualifying remained same but a certain changes were made in the format. The 2 qualifying sessions were for the grid of the sprint race and 2 were for feature race. The feature race had 2 pit stops. The prize was awarded by cumulating points of sprint and feature race.
The fourth season saw the powered by Ferrari cars coming into use. The rule changes of this session saw qualifying sessions that were shorter, pit stop for the sprint race, and removal of the limits on the Friday test drivers, and the Sprint race scoring too was reduced.
The fifth season saw a few turn of events. It was scheduled that the Nikon SuperGP, another established race meeting was to be a part of the A 1 Grand Prix, was cancelled when the practice session was just 5 days away. This high profile addition to A1 GP was cancelled by the Australian organizers because there was not a word from A 1 GP, and legal recourse against A1GP was indicated. Even further more races were cancelled. The Dutch round, which was the final round to be taken place too was shifted.