The A1 Grand Prix series marked its first birthday today with the official launch of its Australian entry exactly one year on from the championship's official unveiling in Dubai.

In the latest high-profile ceremony, Australia became the sixth country to reveal its car and colours, as well as becoming just the second nation to be announced as an A1 Grand Prix race venue, following on from Brands Hatch's conformation as scene of the series' initial race.

"There is no doubt that Australians love their sport and their motor racing," A1 Team Australia chairman - and former F1 world champion Alan Jones commented, "To compete in an international series and to have one race in Australia is very exciting. We are here not just to win but to use this as an opportunity for Australia's up and coming drivers."

Although no driver has been formally confirmed behind the wheel of the gold-and-green Lola, Jones' son Christian - the reigning Asian F3 champion - will take charge of the car for a media demonstration at the Eastern Creek circuit on Thursday [31 March].

A1GP founder Sheikh Maktoum took the opportunity provided by the launch to confirm that Australia would host a round of the inaugural championship, although he was admitted that the date and location would only be confirmed when the final calendar is announced.

"With over 200 countries in the world, and only 25 places on the A1 Grand Prix grid, I'm delighted and honoured to have A1 Team Australia launch this evening with such national support from its government, businesses and people," he said.

The Sheikh also took the opportunity to confirm another 'sporting rivalry' in the A1GP ranks, with the addition of Australia's closest rival, New Zealand, to the list of entries. The franchise, which brings the total to 16, has been bought by entrepreneur businessman Colin Giltrap of Giltrap Group Holdings Limited.

 

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