Despite the popularity of the Durban street circuit over the first three years of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, the series will move to a more traditional course for the 2008-09 campaign, having signed a partnership deal with the Gauteng provincial government.

The arrangement transfers the hosting rights for the South African A1GP event to former Formula One venue Kyalami, with the promise of significant economic, social and tourism benefits for the province. It is expected that the A1GP Gauteng event will serve as a catalyst for the creation of employment opportunities in the motorsport, logistical, security and infrastructure sectors, as well as stimulating investment in the hospitality industry.

"A1GP will give Gauteng international exposure, with about 300 million people expected to view the event on television worldwide," Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa commented, "It will add more impetus to Gauteng's efforts to position itself as the home of competitive sport, and will position Gauteng as a preferred tourist destination. The event takes the province closer to the achievement of its strategic objective of increasing Gauteng's share of the tourism market to more than 50 per cent of all international arrivals."

The Durban street track, despite being prone to safety car interruptions, was a popular stop-off in the first three years of A1GP, but will be replaced by Kyalami - which last hosted F1 in 1993 but has since been 'graced' by the GP Masters - as the series adds to the raft of changes for 2008-09.

"The series is going from strength to strength, not only commercially, but also because of the fiercely competitive on-track action," A1GP CEO Pete da Silva noted, "We have made a number of exciting announcements for the new season, such as the commercial partnership with Ferrari to supply A1GP engines and consult on the design and manufacture of the chassis, thereby cementing A1GP's position as a major international series.

"Gauteng is the economic powerhouse of the country and also the home of competitive sport, now including A1GP. The people of South Africa and more especially Gauteng can look forward to an event like no other. It will be a feast for the senses."

The A1GP Gauteng event will be held over 20-22 February at the challenging Johannesburg-based circuit

"A new season of A1GP approaches and, with it, new and exciting developments," A1 Team RSA seat holder Tokyo Sexwale concluded, "The series is characterised by fast cars, high octane action and beautiful people - all of which also characterise the province of Gauteng. I'm proud of A1 Team RSA, which finished in fifth place in the last season of A1GP. I know that the team is preparing to make the nation proud, not only in the series as a whole, but also when the race comes to our shores in February."



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