Recently announced as one of the two drivers that will be representing Great Britain in the inaugural A1 Grand Prix season, Robbie Kerr has spoken to Crash.net of his delight and excitement as he bids to become the first victor of what has become known as the 'World Cup' of motorsport.

Following a tense shoot-out earlier in the year, former Formula Three champion Kerr was given the nod over F3 Euroseries star James Rossiter and former Formula One driver Ralph Firman for the seat, which he will share with current Italian F3000 driver, Alex Lloyd when the series gets underway at Brands Hatch in late September. To be run by the leading GP2 team Arden, Kerr is determined to make his country proud.

"I'm really looking forward to this. It is a great opportunity that has been given to me by the British team and I am going to have to go out there and give it my best shot. Hopefully I can deliver," the 25-year old told Crash.net.

Having secured the Formula Three title in 2002, Kerr has since struggled to carve out a career on a more global stage, but recent impressive performances on the GT circuit for the Zytek team have managed to catch the attention of team bosses Christian Horner and John Surtees.

"After winning Formula Three, it did become very difficult to raise the budget to race in Formula 3000 as we found ourselves having to find more money. This is an opportunity though that has been given to me partly because of my performances at Silverstone and the Le Mans series, which has put my name back in the forefront."

Although the series is making its debut on the British team's home soil in Kent, A1 Grand Prix will nevertheless prove a truly global series. A total of 24 races at 12 rounds will take place between September this year until March next year, with races pencilled in for Portugal, Australia, Malaysia, South Africa and Dubai among others. The steep learning curve does not phase Kerr though, who together with Lloyd, will alternate seats throughout the season.

"The challenge is there and in the pre-season testing, myself and Alex will be working together to progress the car as quickly as possible. When it comes to the races I want to be the man behind the wheel and go out there and be the quickest."

Together with the varied circuit calendar, the debut A1 Grand Prix season will herald a number of teams who hail from countries not renowned for breeding pedigree racing drivers. Indeed, with the likes of Pakistan and Lebanon joining more established nations such as Australia, Germany and Brazil, there is a successfully international essence to A1 GPs 'World Cup' moniker.

This unpredictable prospect means Kerr is not expecting to necessarily be a front runner against what is still stiff competition, particularly considering the expected inclusion of drivers such as fellow British F3 champion Alan Van der Merwe, FIA GT winner and former F1 pilot Pedro Lamy and Champ Car regular Mario Dominguez.

"It will be an interesting field. The countries that are new to it, they going to be on a learning curve, but you have got to remember that there are countries that do have a motorsport history like Australia, Brazil and New Zealand. They do have drivers that are well known and they have delivered in the past. It is not going to be an easy task by any means so we are not kidding ourselves."

With 550bhp, the flamboyant chassis has been specially built for the A1 GP championship and the identical cars are already proving very quick. "It is a very good vehicle. The Lola chassis and Zytek engine combination has been around for years so it is a proven. We have got the Cooper tyres which are a part of Avon and the electrics and gearbox we know is reliable. I have used it in the past when I drove the Zytek Le Mans car and the system works well."

The A1 Grand Prix championship has also attracted a number of top names in the management side of the series, with teams such as DAMS, Carlin and SuperNova as entrants for nations. There are even high profile stars in the shape Emerson Fittipaldi and footballer Ronaldo who backing the Brazilian bid, while former Formula One champion John Surtees is running the British team alongside Arden and Red Bull Racing chief, Christian Horner. Their experience and knowledge is proving invaluable according to Kerr.

"With the team we have got, we have got a lot of experience to call upon from John, Christian and the Arden team itself. The feedback they have given us is very positive but they are not going to tell us we have done well if we haven't. We know our job and we have to go out there and perform."

With an expected field of around 23 cars, the A1 GP grid is already bulging but whether Kerr and Lloyd can lead the British team to success against some tough rivals remains to be seen. Kerr realises that this chance could well invigorate his career, but he is sure that triumph.

"I am looking forward to the challenge - we are confident that we can do the job."

The first round of the series takes place in late September at Brands Hatch.

 

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