Team Great Britain has begun the second half of the A1 Grand Prix season by revealing a host of new partners, finally attracted to the operation by the encouraging results posted in 2006.

The team heralded the first event of the New Year, at Taupo in New Zealand, by announcing a business partnership with London and Britain that aims to promote both as 'global brands'. The alliance with Visit London and VisitBritain will see appropriate branding on the A1GP car promoting the relationship with the two main tourism initiatives in the United Kingdom.

"Our partnership with Visit London and VisitBritain is a natural one," stated A1 Team Great Britain seat holder Tony Clements, "I'm delighted to be working with both parties in promoting London and Britain as we continue to fly the Union Jack proudly in A1GP. The series is unique in motorsport in its ability to offer nations the opportunity to compete against each other while working together in enhancing cross-border commercial opportunities."

"Visit London is delighted to be involved in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport," said chief executive James Bidwell, "London is a fantastic city for major sporting events, from the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 to this year's Grand Depart of the Tour de France. An association with the exciting, fast-moving sport of A1GP can only help to raise London's profile as a destination for world class sport even further round the globe. We wish the British team all the best for the coming races."

Tom Wright, chief executive of National Tourism Agency, VisitBritain, echoed similar sentiments, claiming that 'global events such as the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport are an ideal opportunity for us to raise awareness of Britain and its appeal as a destination'.

"With increasing competition from destinations around the world, initiatives like this will remind visitors that Britain is as renowned for its sporting achievements as it is for its culture, its landscapes and its unrivalled heritage," he said.

Completing a triumvirate of announcements, Team GB also revealed that it had formed a marketing partnership with leading private members club and concierge service Quintessentially.

"We see a lot of synergy between the platforms offered by A1 Team Great Britain's participation in the A1GP Series and the membership and global brands Quintessentially can introduce us to," commented the team's commercial director Stewart Bain, "With Quintessentially's membership including business leaders, politicians and the social elite, there's an obvious commercial association with the business to business and business to government platforms available through A1GP, not to mention consumer engagement for lifestyle brands. We're delighted to partner with such a successful British company and together we can enjoy networking opportunities through existing business partnerships while creating new ones with A1GP."

Unable to take part in the rookie only sessions, and without the back-up of team-mate Oliver Jarvis, Team GB's Robbie Kerr completed the opening day at Taupo in an uncharacteristically low tenth spot on the timesheets.

"Today's practice went fairly well, although we obviously spent some time learning the track and getting back into the swing of things following the lengthy Christmas break," Kerr commented, "There were a couple of little issues that became apparent as the session went on, but we'll get them sorted ahead of qualifying. I'm happy with where we're at given we didn't run this morning, but we obviously missed out on a lot of data and time to bed things in, which we had to do this session. We showed we had pace but there's more to come tomorrow."



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