The A1 Grand Prix series took another step towards staging its first race in South America, after receiving influential backing during a meeting in Brazil between A1GP ambassador Emerson Fittipaldi and Brazilian president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva.

With one TBA slot remaining to be filled on the 2008-09 A1GP schedule, South America remains a major target for series organisers, and the president pledged his support for A1 Team Brazil's quest to secure a home race after meeting with seat holder Fittipaldi last week.

"We have always wanted to take an A1GP race to South America, and Brazil would be our chosen location given its heritage and amazing drivers like Emerson," A1GP chairman Tony Teixeira said, "We are proud to have him as an A1GP ambassador as he is one of the best known and well respected former motor racing drivers. The support the series gets from the Brazilian fans is fantastic, but to now also have the support of the Brazilian government is a big step forward in bringing a race to the region."

Fittipaldi was racing in the Brazilian GT3 Championship with his brother Wilson, but the two influential Brazilians, along with minister of sport Orlando Silva, managed to discuss the team's prospects ahead of the new season, in which all the teams will use the new Ferrari-designed cars.

"We are working hard at A1 Team Brazil to raise the profile and awareness of the national team. It is invaluable to have the support of President Lula, Orlando Silva and the Government, and it is a goal of ours, in the not too distant future, to have a race in Brazil, so we will work with them on this important project.

"Another important side to A1GP is the Think Greener Racing campaign, and some of president Lula's ideas on the use of Brazilian ethanol could be very interesting for the series to explore. I am excited to think about the future of A1GP and I think A1 Team Brazil has an important part to play in it."

 

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