A1 Team Ireland announces driver lineup for 2006-2007 season
A1 Team Ireland announced that Michael Devaney and John O'Hara will represent the team in this year's A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. The team revealed the line-up at this morning's unveiling of its new livery at Weston Executive Airport near Dublin, Devaney performing a demonstration run for assembled media and sponsors in the 550bhp A1GP car.
Devaney, from Rathfarnham, was the team's reserve driver last season, deputising for lead driver Ralph Firman Jnr at the A1GP events in the UK, Australia and China. Runner up in the 2005 German F3 Cup, Devaney will start the new A1GP season as lead driver. John O'Hara, from Kildare, joins the team after recently completing a driver test at Snetterton Circuit in the UK, the twice- Asian Formula 3 vice champion and former Irish International Racing Driver of the Year set to start the season as the team's nominated driver for the newly- created Rookie Session on the Friday of each A1GP race weekend.
"I am delighted that the team has given me this opportunity as I really enjoyed my outings with A1 Team Ireland last year and the A1GP series is not only extremely competitive but an outstanding championship which allows me to race against top drivers of Formula One and GP2 calibre. However A1GP is all about the team and I will be doing my utmost with John to ensure that Ireland achieves its first win in the World Cup of Motorsport," said Michael Devaney
"A1 Team Ireland has offered me a tremendous opportunity not only to race world-wide in a very senior category of racing but also to represent the country in a unique way. I am looking forward to working with the team, including Michael, and the competition is absolutely fierce. I cannot wait for the first weekend Zandvoort," added John O'Hara
Team bosses Mark Kershaw and Mark Gallagher also revealed the team's initial line up of sponsors including Manvik, BPI Telecom, IBP Properties and Orca financial services. Mark Kershaw, team owner, said: "One year on from the launch of A1GP we are delighted to announce a strong driver line up and to reveal the new identity for the team, both of which will help us to stand out from the crowd.
"In Michael and John we have two young drivers who have natural speed, a proven track record and a determination to ensure that Ireland is even more competitive this year. The team has benefited greatly from the experience gained during the first season and our preparations for the forthcoming series have been painstaking. Mark and I would like to thank all the team sponsors for their support and also the team and drivers for their efforts to date and the massive challenge that lies ahead. It promises to be a thrilling season."
The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport commences with the A1GP Zandvoort, Netherlands, on 1 October 2006. The 13 race provisional A1GP calendar visits every part of the globe and runs through to April 2007. For further information on the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport please visit www.a1gp.com.