A1 Team Ireland has used the launch of its new car to confirm that former Jordan Formula 1 driver Ralph Firman will lead the team into the 2007/08 season.

Having also secured a title sponsor in the shape of Belmayne, the team will put Firman behind the wheel for the season opener at Zandvoort later this month while Adam Carroll could also find himself in a role with the team having been present at the new season launch in Dublin.

"I am delighted to have been invited to drive for Belmayne A1 Team Ireland, and to represent Ireland in the opening race of the season in Zandvoort," Firman said. "We achieved a great deal together in the opening season of A1GP when we scored a podium finish in only our third race, but it is clear from my return to the team that it has moved onto a completely new level in terms of technical capability. The team has always had the potential to win - everyone's focussed on doing just that."

Team owner Mark Kershaw was quick to welcome the new backers on board and said he was hopeful of a solid season ahead - with further announcements due to be made in the coming weeks.

"I'd like to thank the management of LM Developments, owners of the superb Belmayne, for their support in backing A1 Team Ireland in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport," he said. "When we set out to bring Ireland success in a world-wide international single seater motor racing series two years ago we had a number of objectives, and one was to secure a key commercial partner.

"The Belmayne development reflects the new Ireland of the 21st century and the fit with A1 Team Ireland is perfect as we take on the largest countries in the world in a high technology sport. Ralph's return to Team Ireland is most welcome as he has achieved our best results to date, and the performance of Ralph and Adam Carroll in testing showed our potential. We have further announcements to make about drivers in the coming weeks, but for the moment our focus is on confirmed the new-look Belmayne A1 Team Ireland and Ireland's A1GP car."

 

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