Friday 18 January 2019

Motor sport: Kennedy to press on amid rumours of A1's financial difficulties

Declan Quigley

A1 Team Ireland is forging ahead with plans to defend their A1GP title despite concerns over the future of the series.

Media speculation in recent days has suggested that the series is in financial difficulty and that Ferrari will pull out of a deal to supply engines to the series but A1 bosses insisted yesterday that all is well with the championship.

Organisers shrugged off negative press speculation when they announced the full calendar for the forthcoming season.

The self-styled Olympics of motorsport was won by Ireland last season when Adam Carroll took victory in both races at the final event in Brands Hatch in May.

Now former racing star and A1 seat-holder David Kennedy is finalising preparations for season five of the inter-nations championship despite continuing worries over the viability of the championship.

"We're pushing ahead with plans and looking forward to the first round in Surfers Paradise next month," says Kennedy. "A1 officials have reassured the seat holders of all the nations competing in the series that the necessary finance and infrastructure is in place and we're proceeding based on that."

speculation

Kennedy refused to be drawn on speculation about which drivers the team will use in the coming season but indicated that the team will not be rushing to make radical personnel changes.

"We're talking to drivers and the full composition of the squad will be confirmed in due course but I don't think we'll have many changes," he said.

One change that has been forced on the team is the departure of team principal Mark Gallagher who has taken a job running Cosworths' Formula One engine programme.

Meanwhile, Gary Thompson heads to Singapore this week where the Donabate racing star will be aiming for BMW Pacific series glory on the support programme to the F1 Grand Prix.

Thompson is currently second in the championship standings, 12 points off the series lead and enjoys a comfortable advantage in the race for Rookie Cup honours heading to Singapore.

Thompson (17) has been on the podium in all nine championship races held so far and is looking forward to adding another Formula One support event to his CV.

Elsewhere in Asia, Kildare's Kevin O'Hara scored another notable success in the Radical Cup China sportscar series at Chengdu last weekend, earning a call-up to the Formula Renault Asia championship.

The Rathcoffey teenager scored his third win in succession.

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