1 January 1901
WS: A1 rivals to pair up at KTR.
Having spent the winter battling it out in the A1 Grand Prix series, Robbie Kerr and Sean McIntosh will be working out of the same garage when the 2006 World Series by Renault starts, having both signed to race for Belgian team KTR.
While both drivers have been linked to possible World Series deals in recent weeks, ironically both with UK team Comtec, the idea of placing them together came as a result of A1 Team GB and Canada 'seat holders' John Surtees and Wade Cherwayko deciding to extend the driver development scheme set up for the A1GP series, which led to Kerr and McIntosh getting their chance to race for their countries.
Although the move was only finalised at last weekend's A1GP meeting in Mexico, developments have moved quickly, leading to both drivers being found a berth at Kurt Mollekens' KTR squad.
"For a number of years, I've thought a system needed to be put in pace to assist drivers in developing their careers," Surtees explained, "My experience in recent years, with karting and Buckmore Park Kart Circuit, only confirmed the need for this.
"Having come together with Wade Cherwayko in the A1 Grand Prix programme, we have now created an opportunity to give drivers the superb opportunity of a year-round racing programme, incorporating the regular season as well as the winter racing offered by A1GP. More importantly, this is all on the world stage, which is vital if they wish to progress their careers.
"Needless to say, we also feel our programme will be attractive to businesses and we hope to attract partners who see the benefits of being involved with a unique opportunity for networking and business expansion off the back of a continuous marketing platform, incorporating the World Series by Renault, with the added benefit of the association and support of the reigning Formula One world champions, and the A1 Grand Prix of Nations, through the concept of one nation, one car and the ability to reach into world markets as populous as the likes of China, India and the US."
Francois Sicard, sporting director for the World Series, welcomed the decision to place two of the more exciting talents from the A1 series at KTR, further boosting the level of competition expected in this year's WSR.
"Both drivers have accomplished records and we've been aware of their talents for some time," he said, "Robbie sampled our Euro V6 series back in 2004, following his F3 championship success, and Sean is a multiple race winner in the Formula Renault UK championship - and, of course, a recent A1GP winner.
"I'm delighted that we have drivers representing Great Britain and Canada in our series, and I'm equally pleased that John Surtees recognises the platform offered by the Renault development ladder. We've been talking to John for a while now, and I'm pleased that, by placing Robbie and Sean with KTR, they're going to be competing for one of the strongest teams on the grid. Everything's in place for a great 2006 season!"
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