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Chengdu race announced

A1GP officials have confirmed that the Chengdu International Circuit in China will host the second round of the 2008/09 season.

A1GP has strong ties with China, having raced there five times in the last three seasons, but for Season Four the series will have a new venue in its most visited country, taking the opportunity to help the region stuck by this year’s earthquake.

The Chengdu International Circuit will host the round on the 7-9 November 2008, with proceeds from the event will go to the Sichuan Earthquake Relief Fund.

The date for the event means a change to the provisional calendar for Season Four, because this was the slot originally set for the race in Jakarta, Indonesia. Now, the Indonesian event will take place on 6-8 February 2009, becoming the fifth round of the series.

Although the race in China was originally scheduled for the 12-14 December, a date change was necessary to ensure the best possible weather conditions in the region, which is in the south west of China. The track is 3.367 kilometres (2.019 miles) long and features 14 turns.

“Making such changes needs a lot of co-operation, and we would especially like to thank the Indonesian Minister of Youth and Sport Affairs, Dr Adhyaksa Dault and IMI the National Motorsports Federation, for consenting to this date change,” said A1GP Chairman, Tony Teixeira.

“Our welcome in China has always been extremely warm and it is very gratifying that we have been invited to race at our fourth different track in this amazing country by the Chinese Government. The Chinese fans are some of the most passionate, as can be seen by their support for the series and A1 Team China. Also, as we have seen with the recent Olympics, China knows how to put on great events.” 

Liu Yu, A1 Team China seat holder is certain this race will be very important to the Sichuan Province.

“It is a great honour to have A1GP back in China, especially with the new A1GP Powered by Ferrari cars. The severity of the earthquake in Sichuan Province on the 12 May this year was a shock to everyone worldwide, and both A1GP and A1 Team China will take this opportunity to show support for the local people who have suffered so badly,” he said. “I am sure the fans in Chengdu will be able to show they are getting on with their lives and will give A1GP a warm welcome.”

Chengdu, the ‘City of Abundance’ as is the fifth most populated city in the country with over a 100 million people living in Sichuan Province. Its other claim to fame is being the most important economic, transportation and communication hub in China. The city is 1,518 kilometres (943 miles) from Beijing and 1,651 kilometres (1,026 miles) from Shanghai.