Czech Republic have revealed Erik Janis will spearhead their assault on the third A1 Grand Prix season after Tomas Enge was persuaded to step down from lead driver status.

Nineteen year-old Janis is the younger brother of Jarek, who has also competed in a handful of races for A1 Team Czech Republic over the past two seasons, and will make the substantial leap from the International Formula Master series, where he recently made a solid debut for ISR.

Although Janis will lead the team into the first four rounds at least, he will nonetheless be under pressure to perform given that Enge, his brother Jarek, Filip Salaquarda and Jan Charouz have also been assigned as reserve drivers.

"This news means a lot to me,' said Janis. 'I have longed for a good drive and my nomination fulfils my dream. I am overjoyed. I am also well aware of the big responsibility that I will have as a driver of the Czech team. I will do my best not to disappoint. I will be learning at the beginning and hopefully, I will get the grip with the car as soon as possible."

Charouz meanwhile, who has been racing in the Le Mans Series for his father Antonin's team, will assume the role as rookie driver for the majority of the season.

Indeed, team principal Antonin Charouz is confident Janis will be able to deliver when the new season gets underway.

"I am happy that I have been able to give him the chance to be the leading Czech driver. He will have an advantage of rookie practices in the first four events, so he will be able to do more miles during the weekends.

"It is a good chance to get used to the car, team and competitors. My son Jan will do the rest of rookie practices. Tomas Enge, Jarek Janis and Filip Salaquarda are nominated as reserve drivers."

However, he has not ruled out a return for Enge in particular, but he wants the renowned sportscar racer to take time out before embarking on a season in A1 GP.

"The decision has not been done with their performances in mind. They need to rest, especially Tomas has done so many races including both previous A1GP season. A quiet winter should allow them to recharge their batteries."

 

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