To no-one's great surprise, Team Canada has confirmed that 2005-06 racewinner Sean McIntosh and young tyro James Hinchcliffe will form its driving line-up for the forthcoming A1 Grand Prix season.

Looking to build on its tenth place finish in the standings from the inaugural season, the team will use both drivers during the campaign, with 17-year old Kevin Lacroix also likely to get a run-out, if only in the practice sessions being reserved exclusively for rookie drivers. Lacroix got his first run in the A1 car alongside Hinchcliffe at Pembrey during the summer, impressing with his pace and performance, but it is the two more senior drivers who will begin the team's assault when the season starts at Zandvoort on Sunday 1 October. Hinchcliffe will be first on duty, as McIntosh will be competing in the penultimate round of the World Series by Renault at Le Mans.

"Without a doubt, I believe we have two of Canada's future open-wheel racing stars," team seat holder Wade Cherwayko commented, "Sean and James have demonstrated their talents on both sides of the Atlantic, and in some of the strongest and most competitive formulae open to young drivers. Put simply, they're both winners.

"Sean did an amazing job for the team last season, racing against drivers who boasted Formula One, Champ Car and Indy Racing League experience, culminating in his victory in Indonesia. James has proved himself more than capable in pre-season testing, topping the timesheets at Silverstone two weeks ago. Based on their respective form, I'm looking forward to seeing A1 Team Canada return to the top step of the podium this season."

A1 Team Canada will be run this season by Power Hawk Racing, formed by Cherwayko to operate the team 'in-house' in association with Team JVA. John Village will continue to oversee on-track operations as team manager, while the squad will receive additional back-up from Toronto-based Team Autotecnica, winner of the 2005 Formula BMW USA Championship. Formula One world champion John Surtees remains as consultant to the team, and has expressed his confidence in the driver line-up.

"Sean and James make for an exceptionally strong driver pairing," he confirmed, "We evaluated Sean last year and he seized the opportunity to race in A1GP with both hands - and developed tremendously as a driver in the process, highlighted by his first A1GP victory. From him, we expect more of the same with a full season of experience to draw upon this time around.

"James was impressive from his very first test session, stepping up with ease from the Champ Car Atlantic car he's been racing this season into the more powerful A1GP car. His pace in pre-season testing has been very encouraging and now we're looking forward to seeing how he gets on when the racing starts."

 

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