Champ Car testing commitments have sidelined Neel Jani for rounds eleven and twelve of the A1 Grand Prix Championship, with Switzerland instead welcoming back youngster Sebastien Buemi for their trip to New Zealand.

Returning to the seat he occupied over the first two meetings, Max Welti's team are hoping the new Taupo circuit will prove something of a leveller for the teenage Formula Three Euroseries driver.

Buemi though admits he is looking forward to the challenge of stepping back into a race seat having scored points for the team at both Zandvoort and Brno, claiming he has used the winter period to improve his fitness, something he hopes will allow him to challenge for his first podium.

"It's my first time in New Zealand," he said. "I'll arrive at Taupo straight from Europe and Austria where I have spent the week with my physio Helmut to work on breathing, and resistance training to develop my neck muscles which will be important as this track goes anti-clockwise.

"I hope to have plenty of time to adjust to the time difference. I'm very focused and I'm hoping to be on the podium."

Meanwhile, Marcel Fassler will be on hand to assume testing duties during the rookie sessions, the first time the former DTM driver has been called upon this year.

 

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