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Green light for A1GP at Kyalami

A1GP is coming to Kyalami, it was announced on Monday — just days after the new A1GP car, powered by Ferrari, was unveiled to South African fans at the same racetrack.

A1GP World Cup of Motorsport has entered into a partnership with the Gauteng provincial government for the event’s hosting rights.

The deal is expected to provide significant economic, social and tourism benefits for the province, creating employment opportunities in the motorsport, logistical, security and infrastructure sectors. It will also stimulate investment and benefit the hospitality industry.

Gauteng Premier Mbhazima Shilowa said: ‘A1GP will give Gauteng international exposure, with about 300-million people expected to view the event on television worldwide. It will add more impetus to Gauteng’s efforts to position itself as the home of competitive sport.”

He added: ‘A1GP will position Gauteng as a preferred tourist destination. The event takes the province closer to the achievement of its strategic objective of increasing Gauteng’s share of the tourism market to more than 50% of all international arrivals.”

According to Paul Mashatile, Gauteng minister of finance and economic affairs, A1GP ”signals the beginning of the development of motorsport as one of the areas with massive potential to boost economic growth in Gauteng”.

”Our association with A1GP is also in line with our approach to supporting the automotive sector as one of the critical pillars of the provincial economy,” he said.

In A1GP, nations — rather than drivers — compete on a level playing field. Technology and innovation are equalised and performance is determined by human skill and excellence.

The new car, unveiled on Friday in its new A1 Team South Africa livery, features a V8 engine designed and built by Ferrari and a brand-new chassis designed in collaboration with Ferrari. Tyres are to be supplied by Michelin in the 2008/09 season.

Pete da Silva, A1GP CEO, commented: ‘The series is going from strength to strength, not only commercially, but also because of the fiercely competitive on-track action. We have made a number of exciting announcements for the new season, such as the commercial partnership with Ferrari to supply A1GP engines and consult on the design and manufacture of the chassis, thereby cementing A1GP’s position as a major international series.”

He added: ”The people of South Africa and more especially Gauteng can look forward to an event like no other. It will be a feast for the senses.”

The A1GP Gauteng event will be held from February 20 to 22 next year at the Kyalami circuit in Midrand.

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