A1 Team Netherlands has signed a sponsorship agreement with Dutch heating company Remeha as it looks to build on the success achieved with Jos Verstappen in the series' inaugural campaign.

Although Verstappen's continued participation has yet to be confirmed for 2006-07, team boss Jan Lammers was encouraged at the interest shown from potential backers.

"We are pleased with this sponsor deal with Remeha, a strong, innovative and 100 per cent Dutch company with activities all over Europe," he said, "A1 Team Netherlands is experiencing a strong rise in interest from the Dutch and foreign business community, and we are aiming at closing the first deals with big Dutch multinationals within the next 18 months. Until then, we are very conservative in our sponsorship policy and wish to protect this climate."

Although the Remeha logo on the car will be fairly modest, marketing and communications manager Michel van Oers said that he expected the company to get much in return as it would have with a bigger presence.

"In a competitive market, we can never be content about the quality of our achievements," he explained, "Even if we are 'on the podium' as a successful organisation, the next challenge is already waiting. Through passion for technology and the dedication of our employees, this is faced over and over again and that is why we are joining A1 Team Netherlands to take part together in the only real World Cup of Motorsport."

The second A1 Grand Prix season kicks off in Holland, with more than 100,000 tickets for the Zandvoort race weekend sold in a couple of days. Lammers, however, refused to confirm whether or not the crowd would be cheering Verstappen or another Dutch talent.

"We will see, we are both very positive," he said of talks with the former F1 star, "Last year, we have shown a lot of good and not so good things and, whichever way you look at it, these two aspects are part of the sport. That is what's generating the emotion and excitement and, in the end, the commitment from the general public.

"For the upcoming season, we would like to cultivate on what was good and improve on the things that were not so good. In all honesty, it is looking good and we don't expect to encounter real deal breakers."

 

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