The World Cup of Motorsport is revving up ahead of its second season, aiming to broaden the appeal its unique premise delivered in its debut year.

A1GP, the winter series pitting country against country, will hit the track again on 1 October for the first race of the new campaign at Zandvoort in Holland. Through television the championship reached as many as 120 countries around the globe last year, with a further 40 lined up for the forthcoming campaign.

Deputy chairman Tony Teixeira believes the series is going onwards and upwards, particularly as new teams and countries have been attracted for 2006-07, including a Turkish outfit to be run by Lodos Racing Inc. Singapore and Nigeria have also been mooted as possible future entrants.

"Judged by the many millions who watched A1GP, last season was a tremendous success," he said. "Now we are building on that. All the teams are taking it as seriously, if not more seriously, as last year."

The 2006-07 A1GP schedule will incorporate 13 rounds, and is due to culminate at Brands Hatch on April 29. Mr Teixeira said it was a conscious decision not to overstretch the calendar.

"We are looking for quality racing rather than quantity" he explained, "and we have chosen to race in places that will accentuate the competitiveness of the series."

"A1GP is the world cup of motorsport and we are out to prove that through fantastic, exciting and affordable racing."

One of the greatest attractions of A1GP is the fact all the cars are identical, 520bhp Lola Zyteks - with a boost button providing an extra 30bhp for overtaking - meaning all drivers and teams start out on a level playing field. What's more, a 700bhp engine is in the pipeline for 2008-09.

There will also be a new qualifying format for 2006-07, with feature race grid positions to be determined through a combination of qualifying times, sprint race results and fastest laps in an effort to spice up the action even more.

"In our first season we had a very successful format," explained series chief operating officer David Clare. "The cars created very exciting competition and close racing. Entertainment is a very important part of A1GP.

"We also want to allow young drivers from different levels of racing to compete at the top level. Teams from countries with no traditional involvement in motor racing are encouraged to take part. We have established a strong basis for going forwards."



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