Team Brazil will field two new faces in the penultimate round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in Shaghai, after confirming that IRL ace Vitor Meira and South American F3 championship driver Bia Figueiredo will be in action in China.

Meira, who is entering his second year as part of the Panther Racing assault on the IRL this season, will take the place of Bruno Junquiera in the race seat as he makes his A1GP bow and the 30-year-old admitted he was honoured to have been asked to represent his country for the first time.

"It was an unexpected invitation to run with Team Brasil in Shanghai, but I accepted with pleasure. I've been following A1GP as much as I can. The series has quite a bit of interest in the USA as IRL drivers such as Tomas Enge, Graham Rahal and Thomas Scheckter have been racing in the series, and everybody likes the concept. It will be an honor to represent my country."

Figueiredo, a 22-year-old female racing driver from Sao Paulo will take part in the rookie sessions as she also makes her A1GP debut. She competed in Formula Renault Brazil in 2005 and finished the season in third place after winning three races, scoring seven further podiums and recording four pole positions. Continuing her impressive form, Figueiredo scored five podiums and a pole position in her most recent campaign in the 2006 South American Formula 3 Championship, and scooped the Sao Paulo Citizen Driver award.

"I've been following A1GP since the first season, and I am very proud that I will be participating as a rookie driver," she said. "This is an important opportunity for me to learn and understand about international competition, and I want to make the most of the opportunity to show what I can do and to grow as a professional driver. I think it is a very competitive championship and has a good mix of young and experienced drivers. It will be the most powerful car I have driven - it has double the horsepower of an F3 car.

"I'm looking forward to driving on the Shanghai circuit, I have watched the F1 race there on TV and it is a beautiful track, I can't wait to drive on it. As for being female, the drivers in Brazil are used to me now and they respect me. Let's see what happens in China, but I'm used to racing against men and I really enjoy it. It's good to beat them!"

 

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