A flurry of announcements surrounding the New Zealand entry into this year's inaugural A1 Grand Prix series has confirmed that former F3 and BTCC team West Surrey Racing could be contracted to oversee the competitive side of the operation.

While announcing that Bob McMurray will act as general manager of the team, overseeing all facets of the team from New Zealand, franchise holder Colin Giltrap also confirmed that negotiations with WSR had reached an advanced stage to run the 'on track' operation.

Ex-pat Kiwis Dick Bennetts and Mike Ewan run WSR from the south of England, and have already established a reputation built on championship success in the British F3 with such drivers as Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Rubens Barrichello. More recently, the team has proved equally adept at running a tin-top operation, with the works MGs continually competing at the front in the British Touring Car Championship.

"The A1 Grand Prix New Zealand franchise is a truly New Zealand-based and operated team in the true spirit of the A1 GP objectives," Giltrap commented, "New Zealanders have always been at the front and centre of the very top classes of international motorsport, and we are currently assembling a team that I believe will be able to take on the best in the world and make sure that New Zealand is at the forefront of the 'World Cup of Motorsport'. We look forward to the challenge ahead."

McMurray also brings a wealth of experience to the team, having worked in F1 for the McLaren team for many years, and since taken his expertise to television.

"After many years with McLaren International, at the very pinnacle of international motorsport, it is an honour to be involved with a truly New Zealand effort in what is the 'World Cup of Motorsport'," he said, "The A1 Grand Prix is the ultimate 'nation versus nation' series and there can be no greater honour in any sport than to represent your country. This is what we all intend to do and we will do so with pride."

Hamish Miller's sports marketing company Roar Group has been appointed to handle commercial and sponsorship arrangements, bringing experience in the areas of sponsorship procurement and rights negotiations.



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