The board and team 'owners' of A1 Grand Prix have proposed a number of changes to take effect when the series' second season kicks off at Zandvoort in October.

The alterations will take place on both a commercial and technical level, with race distances, points and timings to be changed, and an extra date added to the calendar, which is now expected to feature twelve rounds rather than the eleven that took place in 2005-06. The inaugural campaign had been set for twelve rounds, but the planned Brazilian outing at Curitiba bit the dust early on, having itself been brought in as a replacement for the ill-starred San Antonio street race.

The series has promised a complete rundown of the venues for its 2006-07 in due course, with only Zandvoort officially confirmed, but several of the more popular events from last season due to return, although possibly in different slots.

New franchise applications were also discussed, with several countries bidding to make their A1GP debut, while existing entrants will be subject to review, with one eye on potential changes in ownership. Among the proposals tabled was a restriction on how many countries any one team can operate, following on from the runaway success of the French and Swiss teams in 2005-06. Both teams were run by the crack DAMS team, which could call on data from as many as four teams in total.

Among the sporting changes proposed were alterations to the length of the weekend's two races, with the feature event growing from 60 minutes to 70, and the sprint being cut back to 20 minutes from 30. The points system would be altered in keeping with the shortened event, with a proposal to reward just the first six finishers. The points system and prize money for the feature race will remain unchanged, despite the change in race distance.

The time between races also looks set to be increased to nearly three-and-a-half hours, to allow for scrutineering, the lodging of any protests and technical adjustments to be completed.

Although some events did not prove as popular as anticipated in terms of spectators at circuits, the series proved a success on television, and Holland and New Zealand have both been guaranteed coverage next season after deals were renewed with RTL7 and TV3 respectively. In addition, Sky Sports UK, which will continue to show both races and qualifying live, has agreed to allow a delayed race broadcast to be made available on British terrestrial television. A1's broadcast team will be in France later this week to meet with French broadcast carriers, as well as incumbent licensee Eurosport, to discuss next year's broadcast plans.



Loading Comments...