Belfast Telegraph

A1GP series only delayed: Teixeira

By Sammy Hamill

The future of the A1GP championship has been thrown into doubt following the cancellation of this weekend’s opening round of the 2009/10 series in Australia.

The ‘World Cup of Motorsport’, won last season by Adam Carroll and Team Ireland, was due to begin at Surfers’ Paradise next Sunday but, following a summer of uncertainty and financial trouble, the organisers have been forced to call off the Australia races.

A1GP Operations, the championship's operating arm, went into liquidation earlier in the year, and there were suggestions thay had asked for the return of its engines in a row over payment.

The A1GP cars themselves were mothballed and held by a freight company throughout the summer as it too sought payment.

They were due to be flown to Australia by last weekend but the cars have remained in storage at Dunsford Airfield, Surrey, untouched since they last raced at Brands Hatch in May.

A1GP chairman Tony Teixeira, however, remains adamant the cancellation of the Australian race does not mean the end of A1GP.

He insists the 19 teams listed as 2009/2010 entrants, including Ireland, are still behind the championship, which is now scheduled to race at Zhuhai in China in three weeks time.

But there is little sign that Team Ireland will be part of it. No driver has been named to replace champion Carroll and the man who masterminded the success, Mark Gallagher, has moved on to join Formula One engine builder Cosworth.

Meanwhile, Martin McCormack finished 14th on the Antibes Rally in the south of France at the weekend, the Draperstown driver taking seventh place in the Citroen C2R2 Cup competition.

Adrian McElhinney was 21st and Andrew Bushe 20th in his S1600 Citroen C2. The rally was won by Giandomenico Basso, leader of the European championship, in an S2000 Fiat Abarth.

Belfast Telegraph


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