Once again, the A1 Grand Prix of Nations field will fall short of its 25-car capacity for round five, at Sepang in Malaysia, with one team arriving late and another missing altogether.

Due to prior commitments, made before joining the World Cup of Motorsport, and a number of technical problems, Team Russia will again not take part this weekend, missing its second event of the year. However, having seemingly bounced back from its absence in Germany, the team insists that it is determined to return for the Dubai round, with a realigned strategy to further strengthen its performance.

Arriving late because of logistical problems for its drivers, Team Germany will miss the first two practice sessions on Friday. Nominated driver Timo Scheider will fly in from Dubai after competing in the FIA GT round there - an overnight trip of 5500km - but is only required because planned participant Adrian Sutil broke the thumb on his right hand during the sprint race at Eastern Creek.

On the flip side, Team Indonesia rejoins the World Cup after missing the Australian round to allow Ananda Mikola to claim the Asian F3 title. Also present, perhaps against the odds this weekend, will be Team Japan, which will have a replacement car ready for Hayanari Shimoda, who made the front and back pages of some newspapers with his horrifying exit from race two at Eastern Creek. The Japanese driver showed no ill-effects of his roll when competing for Zytek in the LMES last weekend, and should be back on the pace at Sepang.

The only new face this weekend is Luis Diaz, the Grand-Am driver replacing Salvador Duran in the Team Mexico entry. Elsewhere, Bryan Herta continues for the USA, Stephen Simpson for South Africa and Robbie Kerr for Great Britain.

Three teams will have drivers sharing practice session duties. Australia will use Christian Jones in the first session and Will Davison in the second and third, while the Czech Republic will use new driver Jaroslav Janis for the first session, before reinstalling Tomas Enge for the second and third. Home team Malaysia will give both Fairuz Fauzy and Alex Yoong a run-out in front of their fans, with Fauzy taking Friday practice and Yoong Saturday.

This weekend's nominated drivers are as follows:

Australia Christian Jones Will DavisonAustria Mathias LaudaBrazil Nelson Piquet Jr Tuka RochaCanada Sean McIntoshChina Tengyi JiangCzech Republic Tomas Enge Jaroslav JanisFrance Alex Premat Nicolas LapierreGermany Timo ScheiderGreat Britain Robbie Kerr India Armaan EbrahimIndonesia Ananda MikolaIreland Ralph Firman Michael DevaneyItaly Enrico ToccaceloJapan Hayanari ShimodaLebanon Khalil Beschir Basil ShaabanMalaysia Alex Yoong Fairuz FauzyMexico Luis DiazNetherlands Jos Verstappen Jeroen BleekemolenNew Zealand Matt Halliday Jonny ReidPakistan Adam KhanPortugal Alvaro Parente Joao UrbanoSouth Africa Stephen SimpsonSwitzerland Neel JaniUSA Bryan Herta



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