Sean McIntosh will make a welcome return to Team Canada this weekend when he competes in round four of the 2006-07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, at Sepang in Malaysia.

The 21-year-old returns to A1GP competition following an impressive rookie campaign over the summer months competing in the World Series by Renault. His first foray into European open-wheel racing, following two highly decorated seasons competing in the Formula Renault UK Championship, McIntosh sealed sixth overall in the World Series Driver Standings, the highest ranked Formula Renault 2.0 graduate from a 30-strong line-up of international talent.

Sunday's Malaysian event heralds Sean's first competitive starts in the sophomore season of A1GP, the series pitching nation against nation in identical 550bhp V8-powered A1GP cars throughout the winter, and his first full race weekend for Canada since leading the team to victory in round eight of the inaugural A1GP championship in Indonesia last February.

McIntosh's performance, racing from last to first in the Feature race, complete with the added inconvenience of a drive-through penalty, was undoubtedly one of the drives of the 2005-06 season and helped steer A1 Team Canada to a tenth place finish in the A1GP Nations Standings.

McIntosh arrives in Malaysia armed with the experience of last season's trip to the 5.54km Sepang International Circuit. A challenging outing last November saw the Canadian comfortably in the top-five throughout practice only to be caught out by the changing weather conditions in qualifying for round five. Having raced his way to 15th in the Sprint race, McIntosh's charge in the Feature was immediate as he climbed into the top-ten on the opening lap. Contact with the Italian entry put paid to Sean's top-five aspirations with Canada ending the weekend scoreless for the first time in A1GP.

"We demonstrated pace and potential in Malaysia last season," McIntosh stated. "The weather, which is always a factor at Sepang, caught us out a little in qualifying and as a result I was forced to fight from the back to get a decent grid slot for the Feature. The car was great in the race and I was pushing for fifth before our retirement!

"Hopefully this time round we'll see the chequered! Based on current form things look good and I'm excited to be back for Canada having fulfilled my World Series commitments."

Canada currently sits sixth in the A1GP Nations Standings with 16 points after the first three rounds of the 2006-07 season. McIntosh assumes race duties in Malaysia from Toronto's James Hinchcliffe, the 19-year-old rookie having led the team's charge in Holland, the Czech Republic and China to kick start the new campaign.

 

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