British chassis builder Lola has confirmed that it will be providing cars for a new winter series proposed by a member of the Dubai royal family which is due to start in 2005.

The Huntingdon-based company has signed a formal agreement with A1 Grand Prix, founded by His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum and businessmen, Brian Menell and Antonio Teixeira.

Completely new cars will be developed for the A1 Grand Prix series, which is set to begin in the winter of 2005, provided it receives FIA approval. The series will involve a minimum of 24 countries, and as many as 30 of the single-seaters will be built, to be powered by 3.5litre engines developed by Northampton-based Langford Performance Engineering.

"Lola has all the credentials required for this exciting new series from the Middle East, which is one of the biggest growth areas in global motorsport," commented Lola chairman Martin Birrane, "We are looking forward to contributing our expertise to make A1 Grand Prix a successful venture whilst further expanding the company's horizons at the same time."

A1 Grand Prix plan to unveil the prototype racing car built by Lola at the formal launch which is due to take place at the end of March or beginning of April 2004. The roll-out will take place in Dubai.

His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum has himself competed in both cars and bikes in recent years and is a passionate motorsport enthusiast. Menell is the chairman of South African natural resources giant DiamondWorks, while the other partners in the A1 GP programme, Teixeira, is regarded as an entrepreneur.



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