The A1GP series announced today that it will be forced to cancel its first event of the season at Surfer’s Paradise. The announcement came just five days after the release of the entry list for the season opener, a list which contained no less than 19 entries. Sadly, it appears that this situation has arisen from the financial difficulties of the A1GP Operations Ltd facet of the series which went into liquidation over the summer. The A1GP cars are currently being held by the freight company Delivered On Time as they company awaits payment from the struggling series.
Here’s a statement from A1GP Chairman, Tony Teixeira. You can view the full release at A1GP.com.
One effect of the UK operating arm of the series going into liquidation in June was that access to the cars and the ability to pay its suppliers has been impeded. What should have been a summer upgrading the machinery in time for the first race of the 2009/10 season has turned into a frustrating time for achieving this.
The V8 Supercar series has stepped up to fill the gap in the event schedule left by the A1GP departure and will run four 150-km races instead of their original two 200-km races. I’m not sure that this is going to satisfy many of the spectators. It certainly wouldn’t satisfy me! One of the greatest things about going to a major road or street course event is the wide variety of cars you get to see race over the weekend. For me, its what makes the Mid-Ohio event a seasonal must on my calendar. I get to see SCCA touring and GT cars, all of the various ALMS classes, Atlantics, IndyLights, and IndyCars. More of the V8 cars, as cool and as fun as the V8 cars are, doesn’t really make up for the loss of variety of on-track action created by the loss of A1GP.
This development really saddens me. A1GP has such a great and unique concept for motorsports. Combining an excellent on-track product with the added bonus of rooting for your national team, the series really does deserve their self-proclaimed title “The World Cup of Motorsports”. Unfortunately, unless they can resolve the outstanding financial issues plaguing A1GP Ops, there might not be a 2009/2010 season. The series is optimistic, and I’d like to be, but I won’t be truly convinced until I actually see cars on track in China next month.