How to buy the World Cup of motorsport

WORLD Cup fever kicks off this summer but you can get in right now – even if you’re not a football fan.

Up for auction is, well, ‘the A1 GP series’.

Yes, really – you can bid for:

•    20 A1 GP cars
•    14 Lola Formula single-seaters
•    Spare engines
•    Spare body parts
•    25 team shacks
•    Pit perches
•    Flight cases
•    Ferrari 599GTB safety car
•    Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT medical car

Amazing, aye? This is not just buying an old racing car – it’s buying an entire racing operation. As raced by current F1 drivers Toni Liuzzi and Sebastian Buemi, and former Renault/now-infamous crashgate driver Nelson Piquet Jr. New Williams F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg actually won the championship in 2006; HRT cult star Karun Chandhok and Force India Malaysia star Adrian Sutil also ran in it.

You may not know this, either: the A1 GP car is not only Ferrari-engined, but also based on THE 2004 Ferrari F1 racer that Schumacher used for one of his many World Championship title wins. Heritage at this level comes little higher.

What’s all this World Cup stuff, though? Well, that was the unique part of A1 GP. Instead of driving for teams, drivers were run by nationality. Robbie Kerr often represented the UK, for instance, though Adam Carroll also drove for ‘us’. It was launched in 2004 and ran until last year, when the set-up running it, err, ran into difficulties.

Even so, it was still an FIA-accredited ‘world’ championship, that has a decent heritage and served as feeder school for more than a few handy pilots. You can see the whole auction stock down at a site in Surrey, with more information through the auctioneer’s website.

Anything stopping a rich benefactor buying the whole lot and laying on another summer World Cup for car fans, then? Plenty, probably, but seeing as the eventual buyer will get all the IP rights including A1 GP trademarks and the A1 GP domain name, this journo sees it as all quite straightforward…

Updates will follow!

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