Just five days after the thrilling opening round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport at Zandvoort, the Netherlands, the field once again roars into action for round two of the 12-event series.
. This time the championship heads to the east of Europe to the 5.41km Brno track in the Moravia region of the Czech Republic, close to the Austrian border.
Set in a natural amphitheatre in the rolling countryside just outside Brno, the second largest city in the country after the capital Prague, the track winds its way across forested hillsides in a series of swooping downhill bends and challenging 90-degree corners. Long, fast straights run into tight corners that should produce spectacular overtaking manoeuvres as cars pull out of the slipstream and leave braking to the very last second.
With the race taking place in late autumn, weather conditions could be anything from heavy rain, frost and fog to hazy, warm sunshine, which could produce a re-run of the unpredictable Zandvoort Feature race in which the lead changed eight times over 41 laps.
Twenty-three nations from six continents will take to the track to compete in the only motor racing series to pitch country against country on a level playing field. A1 Team Germany heads to the Czech Republic at the top of the series' standings following its stunning win in the incident-filled Feature race in Zandvoort and fourth place in the Sprint race. Rookie driver Nico Hulkenberg relishes the prospect of fighting for the lead once again, "It was a fantastic feeling to win in Zandvoort," commented the 19-year-old, "it was a very exciting race with the mixed conditions going from dry to wet and then dry again. The level of competition in A1GP is very high, there are a lot of experienced drivers here, some I've raced against before. I'm now looking forward to Brno - I've raced here in Formula BMW and I like it quite a bit. It's like a 'nature' track going through the hills and there are more overtaking places than Zandvoort; we could see very good races."
A1 Team Czech Republic will, of course, be looking forward to their home race. Seat holder Antonin Charouz added, "It's a great honour for the A1 Team Czech Republic to be representing our national flag on a track in our home country. The drivers are very familiar with the track - we hope a bit of local knowledge will help us get a good result in front of the Czech fans. Every time we won I was proud when the Czech anthem played and I hope that it will play during this weekend as well."
A1GP chief operating officer, David Clare, anticipates a weekend to rival the excitement of Zandvoort, "We were delighted with the weekend we had in Zandvoort. It had everything we could have hoped for; a sell-out capacity crowd, two exciting races and results that were only decided on the last lap. This weekend we hope to see more of the same. The equal machinery makes for close racing and we should see breathtaking moves out of the tight corners - Brno is an amazing track and we should see the A1GP series at its most competitive."
The weekend's racing action kicks off with the rookie driver sessions on Friday 6 October from 13.00 to 13.25 and again from 13.35 to 14.00. Drivers under 25 years old who have competed in less than three A1GP races are eligible to participate. All teams can take part in the later practice session from 16.00 to 17.00.
Final practice and qualifying for the Sprint race will take place on Saturday, with the Sprint and Feature races scheduled for Sunday 8 October at 11.00 and 15.00 respectively.