A1GP has revealed that a maximum of 18 cars will take part in the opening rounds of the 2008/09 season this weekend at Zandvoort.

Delays in the build of the new Powered by Ferrari car will force five teams to miss the season opener in the Netherlands, while a further five are working hard to prepare their cars and will be forced to head straight to the circuit having been unable to take part in this week's two-day test session at Snetterton.

Great Britain, India, Mexico, Canada and Germany will all have to wait until the second round in China next month to make their seasonal bows, while Brazil, China, France, Portugal and defending champions Switzerland are all working flat out to secure their places on the grid for the first two races.

Australia, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Lebanon, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, the USA and the Netherlands will all definitely race.

"We cannot blame any of the missing teams for a lack of effort," series CEO Pete da Silva said. "They all burnt the midnight oil and worked as hard as humanly possible to make the grid, but the car build delays just beat them."

In an effort to minimise the losses of those teams missing the weekend, A1GP has already brought in a new scoring system for its fourth season of racing with each team only counting nine scores from the ten events.

However, that effectively means that the teams who miss Zandvoort will have to score as well as possible during the remainder of the year with the season opener being a non-scoring event straight away - and the likely dropped score as a result.

Each of teams that do race will have the luxury of being able to drop a poor result later in the year while also taking advantage of a weakened field in the opening weekend of the season - especially with potential race winners GB and Germany certainly missing out.

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