The entry list for the final round of the inaugural A1 Grand Prix series season boasts a few unfamiliar faces as 'summer' commitments begin to take their toll on teams' line-ups.

While much of the field remains as its has over the past few events, several teams have taken the opportunity - or been forced - to swap drivers, with Great Britain, Ireland, Germany and Portugal all featuring unfamiliar faces in China.

Ireland at least has the opportunity to bring in young Michael Devaney to replace the Japanese-tide Ralph Firman, the former FBMW and F3 racer having tested and raced the green Lola earlier in the year. The other three teams, however, will blood newcomers, with Germany producing the biggest surprise after naming Sebastian Stahl as replacement for the DTM-bound Timo Scheider.

With usual stand-in Adrian Sutil also prevented from taking up the opportunity by his Midland F1 and Japanese F3 commitments, Stahl - a step-brother to the Schumachers - got the call from team boss Willi Weber and will turn his first laps in the German car during Friday's practice sessions.

Likewise, Darren Manning will also get his first miles in the Team GB machine, having taken over from regular pilot Robbie Kerr, who is now embarking on a World Series by Renault campaign alongside A1GP rival Sean McIntosh at KTR. Manning was unveiled as the team's choice at the penultimate round of the year at Laguna Seca, and pushes ahead of nominated season-long reserve Alex Lloyd, who instead finds himself contesting the second round of the Indy Pro Series in St Petersburg, Florida.

Finally, Portugal replaces the similarly WSR-headed Alvaro Parente with occasional back-up driver Cesar Campanico, the F3 pilot getting his first race opportunity on a circuit that will be unfamiliar to most of the 22-car field.

Among those returning to the fold are Phil Giebler and Enrico Toccacelo, who replace Bryan Herta and Max Papis in the Team USA and Italy cars respectively, while Laguna Seca winner Salvador Duran keeps his seat at Team Mexico.

The full list of nominated drivers is as follows, with France already committed to giving both of its title-winning drivers a race this weekend. Japan, India and Russia are all missing the final round.

Australia Ryan BriscoeAustria Mathias LaudaBrazil Christian Fittipaldi Tuka RochaCanada Patrick CarpentierChina Tengyi Jiang Ma QinghuaCzech Republic Tomas EngeFrance Nicolas Lapierre Alex PrematGermany Sebastian StahlGreat Britain Darren ManningIndonesia Ananda MikolaIreland Michael DevaneyItaly Enrico ToccaceloLebanon Graham Rahal Basil Shaaban Khalil BeschirMalaysia Alex YoongMexico Salvador DuranNetherlands Jos Verstappen Jeroen BleekemolenNew Zealand Matt HallidayPakistan Adam KhanPortugal Cesar CampanicoSouth Africa Stephen SimpsonSwitzerland Giorgio MondiniUSA Phil Giebler

 

Comments

Loading Comments...