Former Champ Car driver Dan Clarke will race for his nation in New Zealand this weekend as A1 Team GBR heads to Taupo determined to move up the championship leaderboard.

Clarke, who did not race last year, will become the fifth driver to race for Great Britain in A1GP, following in the footsteps of Robbie Kerr, Darren Manning, Oliver Jarvis and Danny Watts.

"It's amazing really - a real boost and fabulous surprise," said Clarke. "A1 Team GBR is a great team and they have the potential to win every time they compete. I'm here to help and hopefully the relationship can become long term.

"Firstly I've got to get used to a new car, new team and new track. I'm delighted to be driving for Great Britain - it's a real privilege, and it'll be great to be back battling with some of my friends and enemies from Champ Car! I'm fully ready for 2009 and even more determined to win."

Taupo has not traditionally been a happy hunting ground for GBR, with the team failing to score points in the previous two rounds in 2007 and 2008. However, as the team is currently in ninth position in the A1GP standings, there can be no margin for error and the squad is determined to break its duck in New Zealand.

"We have been evaluating our driver options since we knew Danny Watts would be unavailable for this round," explained A1 Team GBR team principal, Katie Clements.

"Dan Clarke is a British talent that has perhaps been overlooked and, since the demise of Champ Car at the end of 2007, he has been sadly without a drive. I am confident that his experience of high level single-seater racing combined with his thirst to return to the cockpit will produce good results.

"We had an unfortunate race day in Malaysia at the last round before Christmas, and it is absolutely vital that we score well this weekend to move up the standings. I would also just like to take this opportunity to congratulate Danny Watts and his partner, Fiona, who welcomed their son Joshua into the world on 15 January."

James Winslow meanwhile, who has been an integral part of the British team for a year, will represent the team as rookie driver.