The traditional nomination of drivers prior to this weekend's A1 Grand Prix round at Fundidora Park in Mexico has seen suspicions confirmed that Salvador Duran's podium performance in Indonesia would not be good enough to keep him aboard the Mexican car on home soil.

Duran repeatedly admitted during the Sentul weekend that he feared that he would not be driving in the Monterrey race, even before costing his team a possible race two victory a fortnight ago, and his nightmare was confirmed as the official entry list revealed that David Martinez had got the nod. There is some speculation that politics may be behind the move, and F3 scholarship class winner Duran has not even been listed as reserve this weekend.

Elsewhere, the field is down to its lowest entry of the season, with just 22 teams registering. Russia continues to be absent, while both India and Pakistan miss this weekend, the former with a management reshuffle pending and the latter while Adam Khan continues to recover from what initially appeared to be an innocuous shunt in South Africa.

Marcus Marshall remains a part of the Australian team as the A1 series visits a circuit he already knows from his brief sojourn in Champ Cars, and is likely to get the nod on race day after his point-scoring debut performance two weeks ago. The Aussie will face opposition from several other drivers with Champ Car experience of Fundidora Park, however, including Christian Fittipaldi, Patrick Carpentier - who makes his A1GP debut this weekend - Alex Yoong and Bryan Herta. Local favourite Martinez is also familiar with the circuit from his Barber Dodge days.

There are no real surprises among the rest of the line-up, although Enrico Toccacelo returns as number one choice at Italy despite Max Busnelli's strong stand-in performances. Alex Premat is expected to take his latest turn at the wheel of the strong French entry, despite being listed as number two driver, while Robbie Kerr, Neel Jani and Jos Verstappen get to continue their front-running roles for Britain, Switzerland and the Netherlands respectively.

Stephen Simpson, who ran strongly in the Sentul feature, keeps the South African seat, but there is a new face in Team Austria, as former Minardi F1 pilot Patrick Friesacher replaces Mathias Lauda, who is required at testing for his new DTM team, and possibly at Team Lebanon, as 17-year old Graham Rahal joins the now three-strong line-up.

The full confirmed entry list is as follows:

Australia Christian Jones Marcus MarshallAustria Patrick FriesacherBrazil Christian Fittipaldi Tuka RochaCanada Patrick Carpentier Sean McIntoshChina Tengyi Jiang Ma QinghuaCzech Republic Tomas EngeFrance Nicolas Lapierre Alex PrematGermany Timo ScheiderGreat Britain Robbie KerrIndonesia Ananda MikolaIreland Ralph Firman Michael DevaneyItaly Enrico Toccacelo Max BusnelliJapan Hayanari ShimodaLebanon Basil Shaaban Khalil Beschir Graham RahalMalaysia Alex YoongMexico David MartinezNetherlands Jos Verstappen Jeroen BleekemolenNew Zealand Matt HallidayPortugal Alvaro Parente Cesar CampanicoSouth Africa Stephen Simpson Gavin CronjeSwitzerland Neel JaniUSA Bryan Herta

 

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