Team Canada will welcome 17-year old Daniel Morad to its driver line-up for this weekend's South African round of the A1 Grand Prix series, the reigning FBMW USA champion slotting in to the rookie role behind regular pilot Robert Wickens.

Morad will make his debut in Friday morning's 'rookie only' session before handing over to Wickens - who has collected three podiums in just eight starts in A1GP - for the remainder of the weekend. Last time out, in Australia, Wickens steered Canada to its first double-points score in over a year, the 2006 Formula BMW champion collecting third place in the Sprint from 15th on the grid before claiming sixth in the Feature.

However, the Toronto native was aided to some extent by his ability to participate in the rookie sessions as well as qualifying and the races and, with Eastern Creek marking his seventh and eighth starts in the series, he now becomes ineligible for rookie status, giving Morad his chance to step up and join a list of drivers to have attained national honours that already including potential Champ Car Atlantic rival James Hinchcliffe and A1GP race winner Sean McIntosh.

The reigning FBMW USA champion is no stranger to street courses, having sampled a few in North America over the past two seasons, and is excited about getting the chance to make his debut on the tricky Durban layout.

"I'm grateful to Team Canada for this opportunity and I intend to make the most of my time in the car on Friday morning," the 17-year old commented, "The team's firmly on a roll at the moment, and I hope my input well help maintain their form and aid Robbie's progress when he takes over in the afternoon's practice session. I'm used to the challenge of learning street courses quickly, so I can't wait to get going in Durban."

The South African track hasn't been kind to Canada in two previous visits, with McIntosh's tenth place Feature finish in 2006 the team's best to date, but Wickens is confident that he can improve on that this Sunday.

"I've always run pretty well on street circuits in both Formula BMW and in Atlantics last season, so I'm looking forward to sampling the Durban track," he noted, "From what I've seen of it already, it's a fairly narrow configuration, but I'll obviously have a better feel for it after Friday's practice session. It was great to finally score points in both races in Australia and, hopefully, we can maintain that level of consistency."

 

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