British A1GP team chairman John Surtees has revealed that he may be prepared to run a 'seat share' scheme in 2005.

The former two- and four-wheel world champion confirmed that he and fellow franchise holder Tony Clements had whittled their choice of driver down to six hopefuls, but insisted that it may not be possible to plump for just one candidate for the series, which will kick off at Brands Hatch in September.

"Driver-wise, we have half a dozen names on our shortlist, but we need to look at other programmes," Surtees told the audience at Autosport International. "European programmes overlap with the beginning and end of the A1GP Series, and we may consider as many as three drivers for our first year. We will have to work closely with other teams and other programmes."

The A1GP Series is designed to run in southern hemisphere countries during the European winter, but founder His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum revealed at the show that Brands Hatch would stage its debut on 18 September.

Surtees backed the idea of launching the championship in Britain, particularly as both the chassis and engine are being built in the UK, but said that he expected the concept to take motorsport to new audiences.

"In general, I am against the introduction of new formulae," he admitted, "There is already too much racing in too many categories.

"However, A1GP is different. It runs in the winter, will visit new areas and will bring racing into contact with more people. It is a good vehicle for Great Britain and the other countries competing, as well, of course, as the drivers involved."



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