With several of the teams mixing youth with experience in their driver line-ups for the second season of the A1 Grand Prix Championship, officials have underlined their determination to let lesser known newcomers share the limelight by offering them their own 'rookie practice session'.

While a number of teams championed up and coming drivers by announcing them in their driver line-ups ahead of the season last year, a number failed to start a race, not least Team Great Britain's Alex Lloyd who was ousted in favour of Robbie Kerr and Darren Manning.

With two 25 minute session taking place on the Friday, the initiative is aimed at giving the drivers the chance to sample the power of an A1 Grand Prix, as well as impress their team bosses prior to them choosing who will line-up on the grid that weekend.

"The idea of the level playing field is something we want to expand on," said A1 GP Deputy Chairman Tony Teixeira. "We appreciate most of the young drivers have never driven anything as powerful as the A1GP car before, so some extra time to get used to the car and the track can be invaluable. I have seen these youngsters are quick learners, so expect this extra track time will help them make a mark very quickly when they are joined by the other drivers for the final Friday session."

Eligibility is based on whether the driver has started three or less races and is under 25-years-old, something that means 19-year-old Canadian James Hinchcliffe, who caused a stir by proving a front runner at the Silverstone test, will be able to test his mettle against Sean McIntosh.

"I know I'm going to be one of the younger guys debuting at Zandvoort but I'm viewing this as a phenomenal benchmark to test my abilities due to the sheer quality in A1GP's driver line-up, it's exciting to have the opportunity to measure myself against some of the older guys and their depth of experience.

"For me, being a rookie in A1GP isn't so bad as it's only the second season of competition that's about to start, it's not like I'll be up against guys with years of experience in these cars".

 

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