The pressure will be even greater for the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport national teams when they go to Mugello, Italy for the start of season four in September. An extra mandatory pit stop is among the changes to the series' Sporting Regulations planned to make the racing even more exciting with the extra stop having to be taken in the A1GP Sprint Race between laps four and eight.
"We never stop looking for ways of improving the action on the track. The two pit stops in the Feature Race have proved to be the really high pressure points of the events. We felt an additional one would not only add another variable into the Sprint Race mix, but also give the crews another opportunity to display their team work. When we sat down to discuss ways of improving the series from every viewpoint this was a popular addition. However, we have also made other changes that will give the teams greater flexibility in certain areas," said Tony Teixeira, A1GP Chairman.
The unique qualifying format has also proved very popular with the spectators and to increase the drama and tension each of the four sessions have now been reduced from 15 to ten minutes with the same five minute break between each. Here the added pressure is on the drivers, as the Sprint Race grid is determined from each driver's best time taken from sessions one and two and the Feature Race grid from sessions three and four.
Nations can and do use the Friday to try out young or less experienced drivers in the two Rookie and Developing Nation Sessions. This popular addition will continue, but now there will be no age limit and the gap between the two 30 minute sessions has increased from five to 20 minutes.
The duration of the Sprint Race, with its rolling start, has also been increased from 19 to 24 minutes plus one lap, while the Feature Race, from a standing start, remains at 69 minutes plus one lap. However, now the points' allocation for the shorter race has also been reduced with them only going to the top eight on the scale of 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. The Feature Race remains the same with the top ten receiving points on the scale of 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.