A1 Team Brazil has announced that Christian Fittipaldi is to take over as lead driver with the team in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport for the latest round of the series this coming weekend in Indonesia.

The team has been preparing for some time for a change of driver, with Nelson Piquet Jr's GP2 Series preparations clashing with many of the races in the second half of the A1 Grand Prix calendar - with the nephew of team principal Emerson Fittipaldi stepping in in his place.

With a wealth of experience spanning 25 years in racing, the team will hope that Fittipaldi can take them back to the top of the podium - especially given that he is already familiar with the upcoming circuits in Mexico and America.

The former F1 and Champ Car driver - who will compete in the Grand-Am series and the Brazilian Stock Car Championship during 2006 - will be supported at the Sentul Circuit this weekend by regular team reserve driver Tuka Rocha and he said he was looking forward to joining the championship.

"I am happy to be representing the Brazilian Team and taking over where Nelsinho left off," he said. "I have been following the races and I believe that the team is very competitive. I'm especially looking forward to racing again in Monterrey and Laguna Seca, two tracks that I know very well."

Emerson Fittipaldi said he was thrilled to be able to welcome someone with the experience of his nephew to the team and thanked Piquet for the displays he had put in the opening half of the season.

"I am very happy that Christian will be driving for the team for Indonesia," he said. "He has a great amount of experience, and I am sure he can benefit the team a lot. I am extremely pleased with the way that Nelsinho performed the whole time, I understand his commitment to GP2 and I am looking forward to him getting back in the cockpit for A1 next season. We have won two races, and have always been very strong and I am very pleased with the engineers and the team.

"We have a very strong team of people and we will be a good position for the remainder of the season. This will be the first time I have worked directly with Christian. He has won everything he has competed in and is very motivated. He understands that in Indonesia he has to work with the team and learn about the car and I am sure he will then be a very strong contender in Mexico, Laguna Seca and China. I am looking forward to the next few races to see if we can get much closer to France and try to be runner-up in the championship."

 

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