Heading into its second season, the A1GP series has taken steps to level the playing field for its rookie drivers, by giving the inexperienced drivers two rookies-only track sessions on the Friday preceding the race weekend.
A1GP Deputy Chairman Tony Teixeira said, "The idea of the level playing field is something we want to expand on. 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."
In the A1GP series, where a number of drivers may pilot their nation's entry during the season, a rookie isn't just someone new to the series, but also a driver under 25 years of age. After three races, the driver loses his rookie status.
With big fields and many less-experienced drivers mixed in with faster seasoned veterans, giving the rookies some extra seat time can only help reduce the risk of crashes, particularly in the hectic moments following the start. Sounds like a great idea.
The season opens October 1 at the historic Zandvoort circuit in the Netherlands, where the A1GP circus will be joined by three new national teams, from Greece, Singapore and Turkey. It appears that A1GP TV coverage in the U.S. will be covered this year by SPEED Channel. Check here for international coverage information.