The 2007-08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport season reaches the halfway marker in New Zealand this weekend and A1 Team Canada has selected Toronto's Robert Wickens to compete in round five at Taupo Motorsports Park.

Wickens, who confirmed plans to compete in the 2008 World Series by Renault championship back in December, will be behind the wheel of the Canadian entry for the third straight event having made his competitive A1GP debut in November, when he scored Canada's only points to-date thanks to a third place podium finish in round three's Sprint race in Malaysia.

The 18-year-old A1GP rookie is now hoping to kick-start the New Year with another competitive showing for his country as he gets set for his debut competing at the 3.5km track on New Zealand's North Island.

Impressive qualifying performances from Wickens, including a high of fifth place in Malaysia, have been tempered by frustrating Feature race outings with the Ontario-native posting early retirements in both Malaysia and China. He will now be hoping it is a case of third time lucky and will no doubt be keen for a repeat of last season's Taupo form when James Hinchcliffe steered Canada to a pair of top-six finishes, the last time the team scored points in both the Sprint and Feature events at a race meeting.

"I'm really excited to be racing in New Zealand," said Wickens ahead of his trip 'down-under'. "We have to take advantage of running in the 'Rookie-Only' session to maximize our track time, I know the layout's been modified a little since the previous A1GP visit but we've proved we can get up to speed pretty quickly.

"The team's been working hard over the break and our aim will be to maintain the pace we've shown previously in the earlier part of the weekend through to Sunday when it matters most!"

Team manager Simon Cayzer meanwhile has said it is vital they add to their ten-point tally and he has told Wickens he wants two podium finishes.

"In China we started the weekend well but didn't get the chance to show our pace in the race. It's important for us to get a good result in Taupo then and carry that momentum forward to the Australian round a fortnight later. We want to show our pace again and get some points. Realistically we're aiming for two podiums," he summed-up.

 

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