Saturday, 16 January 2010

Superleague Formula Replaces A1 GP at Brands Hatch

I have just received my regular mailing from Motor Sport Vision, operators of Brands Hatch race circuit, stating that the A1 GP meeting that was pencilled in on the 2010 calendar has been replaced by the so called Superleague Formula.... (more about that later in this post)

The financial trials and tribulations of the A1 GP series are well documented and it does not surprise me one bit that they have been dropped from this year's race calendar.

Die hard fans of A1 GP cling to the hope that after a one year sabbatical, it will be resurrected phoenix like from the financial ashes.

I am not so sure myself given the size of their debts, their complex financial arrangements and the poor economic state of the world in general right now.

Personally I am sad to see it go having attended the very first ever A1 GP weekend at Brands Hatch back in 2005. It was one of the best supported meetings I have seen at Brands Hatch - the estimated attendence was I believe, 70000 plus and it brought back a sense of the glory days when the F1 British GP's were held at the track.

I have also attended all the subsequent A1 GP meetings at Brands Hatch including last year when Team Ireland won both the sprint and feature races tp lift the 2009 A1 GP Team Championship trophy for the first, and sadly almost certainly, last time.

Please read my post about the 2009 AI GP season finale here.

Now back to A1 GP's replacement on the Brands Hatch 2010 calendar. Superleague Formula will run three races over the weekend of 31st July/1st August using 750 BHP V12 engined cars.

It is not clear at this stage whether the cars will race on the Indy or GP circuit at Brands and no details have been published of the support programme so far.

Wheras A1 GP cars were in national colours, Superleague Formula cars are "affiliated" to world famous football teams such as Tottenham Hotspurs, Liverpool FC, AC Milan, Galatasaray, Corinthians, Atletico de Madrid etc.

I'm not sure how well this series will be supported. The organisers are gambling on the fact there will be enough football fans interested in motor sports and vice versa but in my experience footie fans and petrolheads are two completely different animals!

I had a trawl through the Superleague Formula web site this evening to see which drivers are involved. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be a separate list of drivers on the site so it means you have to check each team page individually.

There are two former F1 drivers listed - Antonio "Pizza Man" Pizzonia (anyone remember him?) and Sebastian Bourdais, who in my opinion, should be given another shot at F1 instead of pottering about in this series...

There are a few A1 GP refugees too including Giorgio Pantano, Ho Pin Tung and John Martin.

As for the others, to be honest I'd never heard of any of them before!

The weekend adult on-line ticket price has been set at £ 29 (about £ 10 lower than for A1 GP) and I think curiousity will get the better of me.

If I can't have my annual fix of A1 GP, I suppose I'll have to make do with this new series instead.

If you have already been to a Superleague Formula meeting in previous years, please share your views by leaving a comment below....

You may also enjoy the following -

Brands Hatch Circuit Guide

F1 2010 Teams & Drivers Latest

Superleague Formula picture courtesy of jo3hug


Himmat Singh said...

Hey Glenn, long time didnt update.
Well, firstly, I am dismayed by the seemingly endless problems faced by A1GP. Malaysian were quite OK I'd say in the series, and I liked it. But it is obvious that the series is feasible no longer. Unless a new management takes over, the series has seen its end. :(

Glen said...

Hi Glenn - great name if misspelled in my opinion!

I was also at that first ever A1 race at Brands hatch and loved every minute of it, especially as I’d wangled a freebie in the Pangaea hospitality area – had a wonderful time hob-nobbing with the rich folk, including both Nelson Piquets. Moreover walking about the pit lane etc. was a real thrill.

It’s a series which really deserves to do better as I thought it was great, sadly I lost touch with it because after a long discussion with my wife I personally decided that I couldn’t justify getting Sky Sports – entirely my decision you understand.

This site is right up my alley and I shall definitely be following you – and not in a bloggers link exchange way but in an actually interested way, thanks.

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Glen said...


Just realised that it's not actually you who spells it with two Ns, just other people! I get that all the time.


Himmat Singh said... apologies for the misspelling of your name.

Well, definitely I'd keep in touch with you. Will drop by here evry week or so, depending on your frequency of blogging.

I don't quite blog on F!/motorsports, but I would do a season preview before the 2010 season starts in proper.

And about you fraternizing with the Piquets, must have been a great experience. :)