A1 Grand Prix set to begin

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> The World Cup of Motorsport, the A1 Grand Prix, starts from Saturday.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:49 IST
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The World Cup of Motorsport, the A1 Grand Prix, starts from Saturday. The concept is simple - its one country versus another and the new open-wheel series makes its debut this weekend, offering several twists for racing fans accustomed to the established ways of Formula One. 25 countries including India, Pakistan and China will be taking part in the 12 race series. "I think the concept is very good it's a winter series which nobody has yet," said Niki Lauda, Former F1 Driver. A1 Grand Prix is the brainchild of Sheik Al Maktoum, nephew of Dubai's crown prince. He believes it will excite a whole new generation of motorsport fans. "A1 Grand Prix is the World Cup of motorsport. Twenty five nations vying to hold the World Cup of motor sports in their hands," said H H Sheikh Makhtoum Hasher Al Makhtoum. Karun Chandhok and Armaan Ebrahim will drive the team India car and as per the last test drive they finished 4th behind Germany, Canada and Ireland. And since the livery for every nation is the same it will be a true test of driver skills. "At the end of the day you are looking for similarities between the cars and whoever wins is the best, so I think this is a great idea," said Rubens Barrichello, Driver, F1 Team Ferrari. Being a winter series, A1 Grand Prix will not be clashing with Formula 1. It will offer a total prize money of $1 million.