Team Canada has called up Kevin Lacroix to fulfil rookie duties at the remaining A1 Grand Prix rounds this season, starting with next weekend's street race in Durban.

The 17-year old, who got his first taste of an A1GP car at Pembrey in South Wales last summer, replaces James Hinchcliffe, who is no longer eligible to run in the hour-long rookie only session on Fridays having exceeded six race starts this season.

Having excelled in the Formula BMW USA Championship in 2005, finishing second overall with four wins, Lacroix claimed runner-up and rookie of the year honours in last season's Star Mazda Championship. Despite having never driven anything as powerful as the 550bhp A1GP car, the teenager proved himself to be a fast learner at Pembrey, picking up both the car and track to set some impressive lap times throughout his day-long test, and he hopes to repeat that feat in Durban.

"I'm really excited to have this opportunity to drive for A1 Team Canada," Lacroix commented, "I'm looking forward to working with the team again following our first meeting at Pembrey. South Africa's going to be a challenge as I get reacquainted with the A1GP car and learn the track layout, but I'm confident in my ability and I know I can meet the team's expectations for the rookie session. It's great to get the seat time and I'm hoping it will lead to a shot at racing for the team in the near future."

Lacroix becomes only the fourth driver to compete for Team Canada, following Vancouver's Sean McIntosh, Ontario's Hinchcliffe and fellow Qu?b?cois Patrick Carpentier into the hot seat.

"I'm delighted to officially welcome Kevin into the A1 Team Canada line-up," Canadian seat holder Wade Cherwayko said, "Qu?bec boasts such a rich history of producing talented open-wheel racing drivers and Kevin undoubtedly represents the next generation.

"He impressed us massively when we tested him in the A1GP car at Pembrey last July and we're looking forward to seeing how he performs as part of the team over the course of a race weekend. His input in the rookie only session will be extremely valuable to the team's overall competitiveness and I'm looking forward to seeing him attacking the streets of Durban next weekend."

 

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