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A1 GP - time for it to slide into oblivion and non-existence?


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#1 D.M.N.

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 09:34

4 years ago, when A1 GP was launched, some said that it could be a competitive rival to Formula 1. IMO, since that launch, A1 GP has gone down and down the ladder.... some races seeing no crowd whatsoever due to poor ticket sales.

The organisation of the company seems very poor. This year for instance.... not every team was at the first few rounds. A1 GP are still organising their calendar with changes halfway through the season! The organisation skills are bad.... it makes it look like a lower league Formula ala. Formula Three.

A1 GP = just slide into oblivion and out of business. Please.

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#2 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 09:46

I think it has. If you like it you follow it, if you don't you aren't even aware of it.

Im surprised it's still going given how it's financed and how unstable finances are globally at the moment. I would have thought those debts would have been called in long ago.

#3 primer

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 10:20

D.M.N.

With Dubai suffering badly in this global recession, I cannot see A1GP continuing for long. The series is not financially viable. Either they change somethings and invest a hundred million $ to gather more eyeballs....or they die. By the looks of it, there will be no A1GP in 2010.

#4 krapmeister

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 10:27

The market will determine what survives....

#5 Tomecek

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 10:33

Originally posted by D.M.N.
4 years ago, when A1 GP was launched, some said that it could be a competitive rival to Formula 1.

That's true. But majority said it will be gone before end of first season :)

#6 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 10:34

And really it should have been. It's a massive hole of money and I am absolutely fascinated that it continues and has continued this long.

#7 Haddock

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 10:37

All that sounds true enough, but hasn't most of the money been spent now? The 'A1GP by Ferrari' cars have been built, if not paid for. Do the creditors (who can't have had their heads screwed on) really have anything to lose by letting it totter on a while longer?

Tracked down some footage of the China race a couple of months back and I was quite impressed by the cars - though the race itself was lacklustre and the circuit pretty awful.

#8 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 10:41

Well there are massive operational costs to run the races and teams since there is very little outside sponsorship. Unless the rumours about the money laundering are true and maybe somene somewhere makes money.

#9 Tomecek

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 11:30

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld
And really it should have been. It's a massive hole of money and I am absolutely fascinated that it continues and has continued this long.

thay have to do something right, then...

#10 Haddock

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 11:32

Idle thought, but if A1GP is on shaky ground, what on earth explains the existence of Superleague Formula? Don't get me wrong, the cars sound fantastic, but nobody is watching, and it's hard to understand why anyone ever thought people would be interested

#11 Dolph

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 11:43

Originally posted by Haddock
Idle thought, but if A1GP is on shaky ground, what on earth explains the existence of Superleague Formula? Don't get me wrong, the cars sound fantastic, but nobody is watching, and it's hard to understand why anyone ever thought people would be interested


Not all people with money are smart and sometimes they live in a bit of a fantasy world and don't mind spending a bit of money. Especially when it comes to oil sheiks and football players.

#12 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 11:54

I think Superleague had a decent amount of money behind it to launch (and was in development for a few years when investment money was around) so was able to slip through unscathed. The test will be 09/10 and beyond seasons.

#13 Tony Matthews

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 12:50

I had the opportunity to take a close look at a 2009 A1 complete car a few weeks ago and I was very impressed - although I fully appreciate that it takes more than a good-looking car to make a successful series - but if F1 cars looked as good I'd be very pleased, purposful but largely uncluttered.

#14 Dolph

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 13:06

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld
I think Superleague had a decent amount of money behind it to launch (and was in development for a few years when investment money was around) so was able to slip through unscathed. The test will be 09/10 and beyond seasons.


Both of those series are and will be subsidized by their owners in the future.

#15 noikeee

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 13:18

Originally posted by D.M.N.
4 years ago, when A1 GP was launched, some said that it could be a competitive rival to Formula 1. IMO, since that launch, A1 GP has gone down and down the ladder.... some races seeing no crowd whatsoever due to poor ticket sales.

The organisation of the company seems very poor. This year for instance.... not every team was at the first few rounds. A1 GP are still organising their calendar with changes halfway through the season! The organisation skills are bad.... it makes it look like a lower league Formula ala. Formula Three.

A1 GP = just slide into oblivion and out of business. Please.


That's all true, but why on earth do you want it to die?

It has been one of the most interesting series around with usually good racing. To me, it's one of my favourite series.

#16 alfa1

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 13:49

It needs someone like Bernie, a series boss to say something controversial every few months to get free media coverage.
Something associated with a celebrity would be good. A leaked 'secret video' of one of the drivers getting romantic with Paris Hilton would do wonders.
Any publicity is good publicity.

#17 Haddock

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 14:01

Originally posted by Dolph


Both of those series are and will be subsidized by their owners in the future.


The only business model that perhaps makes sense for A1GP is - keep subsidizing and hope F1 collapses and that you are best placed to fill the gap when it does. Doubt it would work though, expect Bernie would get the current F1 drivers into GP2-spec machinery and call it F1. In fact, I half suspect that is CVC's ultimate gameplan anyway.

#18 MichaelPM

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 14:10

I have never seen a race live which is key to motorsports I feel, I want to but they insist on me paying stupid amounts of money to watch a bunch of men in a field kicking a dead pig around or wearing big wool jumpers while running back and forth and stopping for tea to catch a glimpse at some racing the odd month...

They should of got the BBC, UTV, CH4 (when the listings say racing it might not be stupid horses but some real racing instead!) to air it and then people could really make up their minds about it.

#19 Sakae

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 14:25

Originally posted by krapmeister
The market will determine what survives....

That theory has taken decisive beating on World Markets, specifically when oil prices reached $150 per barrel. Stock exchange speculators and price manipulators managed to get the "upper hand", as we now learning that there was no (immediate) shortage of anything, but greed was flourishing on Wall Street.

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#20 ClubmanGT

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 19:18

A1's biggest problem is the officiating is often poor and the racing is never as close as the hype makes it out to be.

#21 Snap Matt

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 12:47

Originally posted by ClubmanGT
A1's biggest problem is the officiating is often poor and the racing is never as close as the hype makes it out to be.

Sounds a bit like F1 then.

But without anyone caring about the events.

#22 niallmckiernan

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 13:12

I would have forgotten it was on this year only the papers here reported Adam Carrolls maiden victory. Needless to say I wasn't too exciting and didnt rush to see when it was on next!

#23 Clatter

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 13:36

Originally posted by MichaelPM
I have never seen a race live which is key to motorsports I feel, I want to but they insist on me paying stupid amounts of money to watch a bunch of men in a field kicking a dead pig around or wearing big wool jumpers while running back and forth and stopping for tea to catch a glimpse at some racing the odd month...

They should of got the BBC, UTV, CH4 (when the listings say racing it might not be stupid horses but some real racing instead!) to air it and then people could really make up their minds about it.


Certainly as far as the UK is concerned it was a big mistake going to Sky. The series is not exciting enough for the non-sky sports subscriber to want to pay out, the subscribers are probably more interested in the football, the number of viewers must be quite limited.

Personally I find the whole country thing to be too artificial. Just putting the name of the country on the car doesnt fill me with a desire to support it.

#24 Seanspeed

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 14:42

Originally posted by ClubmanGT
A1's biggest problem is the officiating is often poor and the racing is never as close as the hype makes it out to be.

Not quite true. I guess it would depend on how much hype you think its had, but the action has been far better than most anything you'll see in modern F1. Admittedly, this year has not quite lived up to expectations, but the racing at the first races in Zandvoort and the races at Sepang were quite good.

07/08 Malaysia race weekend had some of the best action you'll ever see in any type of motorsports.

#25 taran

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 15:44

Funny, its detractors have been announcing its death since its arrival. And yet, it still exists....
In fact, it has been such a threat IMO, that F1 suddenly decided to listen to its fans and for GP2 to create Asian/Winter series.

The concept is actually quite attractive, especially if you consider some of the seat holders.
Alan Jones, Emerson Fittipaldi, Willi Weber, Piercarlo Ghinzani, Alex Yoong, Jan Lammers and Max Welti are all F1 veterans.

I think it just needs a bit of technical and sporting stability and a few popular drivers. Teams should expand to two car-teams with 1 experienced driver and one rookie. Then it would take off in no time, especially with attractive Ferrari single seaters.

Imagine the 'best' drivers of a country representing it, teamed with a rookie looking for a reputation.

Rahal and Allmendinger or Speed for the USA.
Villeneuve or Tracy for Canada.
Hamilton would never be released by Ronzo but Button and a mini-Mansell would be a crowd puller.
Verstappen or Doornbos for Holland.
Bourdais for France.
De La Rosa for Spain.
Fisichella, Trulli or Liuzzi for Italy.
Schumacher I or II and Vettel for Germany. Or Heidfeld. Or Rosberg. Or Glock.
Nakajima and Kobayashi for Japan.

The posibilities just boggle the mind.

Such a grid would be more able to get TV interest and crowds willing to pay. And don't forget that A1 is willing to pick up circuits other series don't want. With F1 disappearing to shitty tracks in Nowhereville, a series based on Brands Hatch, Monterey, Kyalami, Zandvoort, Zolder, Hockenheim, Magny, Imola, Zeltweg etc. should have a lot of interest, certainly from the European fans left behind in Bernie's brave new world.

#26 Snap Matt

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 15:54

Originally posted by taran
Funny, its detractors have been announcing its death since its arrival. And yet, it still exists....
In fact, it has been such a threat IMO, that F1 suddenly decided to listen to its fans and for GP2 to create Asian/Winter series.

The concept is actually quite attractive, especially if you consider some of the seat holders.
Alan Jones, Emerson Fittipaldi, Willi Weber, Piercarlo Ghinzani, Alex Yoong, Jan Lammers and Max Welti are all F1 veterans.

I think it just needs a bit of technical and sporting stability and a few popular drivers. Teams should expand to two car-teams with 1 experienced driver and one rookie. Then it would take off in no time, especially with attractive Ferrari single seaters.

Imagine the 'best' drivers of a country representing it, teamed with a rookie looking for a reputation.

Rahal and Allmendinger or Speed for the USA.
Villeneuve or Tracy for Canada.
Hamilton would never be released by Ronzo but Button and a mini-Mansell would be a crowd puller.
Verstappen or Doornbos for Holland.
Bourdais for France.
De La Rosa for Spain.
Fisichella, Trulli or Liuzzi for Italy.
Schumacher I or II and Vettel for Germany. Or Heidfeld. Or Rosberg. Or Glock.
Nakajima and Kobayashi for Japan.

The posibilities just boggle the mind.

Such a grid would be more able to get TV interest and crowds willing to pay. And don't forget that A1 is willing to pick up circuits other series don't want. With F1 disappearing to shitty tracks in Nowhereville, a series based on Brands Hatch, Monterey, Kyalami, Zandvoort, Zolder, Hockenheim, Magny, Imola, Zeltweg etc. should have a lot of interest, certainly from the European fans left behind in Bernie's brave new world.

Speed and Verstappen took part in the first A1GP race.

Two car teams and keeping the old F1 tracks alive would be good, costs permitting. Most importantly it needs a terrestrial tv deal to make it accessible. The best I can get is a highlights package shown at some ungodly hour of the night on a channel I usually forget even exists.

At least they got rid of the vile original cars.

#27 Clatter

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 15:58

Originally posted by taran
it has been such a threat IMO, that F1 suddenly decided to listen to its fans and for GP2 to create Asian/Winter series.


Threat? :rotfl: I hope your kidding.

I very much doubt A1GP even registers on F1's radar, GP2 is far more of a threat. And GP2 in Asia isnt a reaction to A1, it's a money making exercise by filling a gap in the market.

#28 taran

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 16:00

Originally posted by Snap Matt

Speed and Verstappen took part in the first A1GP race.


And that is exactly my point. Verstappen created a huge amount of interest in the series that first season. As an established name and a very popular driver. Just imagine what a handful of (ex-)F1 drivers would do for A1....

#29 Gilles4Ever

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 16:04

Originally posted by taran


And that is exactly my point. Verstappen created a huge amount of interest in the series that first season. As an established name and a very popular driver. Just imagine what a handful of (ex-)F1 drivers would do for A1....


.... what it did for GP Masters?

#30 Clatter

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 16:07

Originally posted by taran


And that is exactly my point. Verstappen created a huge amount of interest in the series that first season. As an established name and a very popular driver. Just imagine what a handful of (ex-)F1 drivers would do for A1....


IMHO the interest was generated because it was a new series and people wanted to see what it was all about, mix that with the fact that it was an out of F1 season series, and they should have been onto a sure fire winner by dragging in all those fans desperate for a racing fix. They havent been able to manage that, and as already been said one of their biggest errors was not being available on FTA TV.

#31 Beej

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 16:10

I must admit this season I am losing interest in A1GP. The only reason I subscribe to Sky Sports is for this series and I am seriously thinking of saving the money.

#32 brakedistance

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 00:39

Can anyone name any drivers who progressed to better things as as result of A1?

#33 shaggy

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 00:47

Originally posted by D.M.N.
4 years ago, when A1 GP was launched, some said that it could be a competitive rival to Formula 1. IMO, since that launch, A1 GP has gone down and down the ladder.... some races seeing no crowd whatsoever due to poor ticket sales.

The organisation of the company seems very poor. This year for instance.... not every team was at the first few rounds. A1 GP are still organising their calendar with changes halfway through the season! The organisation skills are bad.... it makes it look like a lower league Formula ala. Formula Three.

A1 GP = just slide into oblivion and out of business. Please.

I hope not; otherwise, my trip to Mexico may need to be put on hold.
Then again, the Mexico race has been pushed back by a week :cry:

shaggy

#34 JForce

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 01:04

I enjoy A1, but I think it depends on your point of interest. NZ have done ok in the first few years, our car looks the best :D, and having a race here means it gets plenty of coverage.

The NZ round is this weekend, and for the last few weeks they've been promoting it here. They had the new car on show at an event, and I went and checked it out.

It looks awesome to be honest. Imagine an F2004, but "cleaner", like this years F1 cars, but with proper wings :D

I think now that the initial costs of the car upgrade are done, the series has a real chance to consolidate its place.

The racing is good, the coverage is excellent, but it does need some increased publicity to really cement itself as part of the calendar.

I see no reason to wish it ill. The concept is interesting but at its core still motorsport. Whereas Superleague isn't about motorsport at all, it's about soccer and money. I know, all motorsport is about money, but hopefully you get my drift.

#35 jb_128

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 05:12

Originally posted by brakedistance
Can anyone name any drivers who progressed to better things as as result of A1?


Hard to tell if they moved on because of A1GP, but Hülkenberg went straight to ART and is now Williams test driver, Jarvis and Premat are in fully paid DTM drives and Chandhok got a top GP2 drive. I would Vietoris is also in a position where we can expect to move up through the ranks in the following years.

#36 jb_128

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 19:07

Looks like Premiere have dropped coverage...

#37 Madras

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 19:28

imo the problem is it's not advertised properly. I never know when the races are and always miss them. I'd watch it if I knew when it was on. I don't even know which channel shows it.

#38 Snap Matt

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 12:50

Originally posted by Madras
imo the problem is it's not advertised properly. I never know when the races are and always miss them. I'd watch it if I knew when it was on. I don't even know which channel shows it.

It's not promoted at all. I can't recall seeing it mentioned in newspapers, on tv or anything outside of the specialist press and even there it gets a tiny amount of coverage. Even among people that follow F1 you could find some that aren't even aware A1GP exists.

#39 Jackman

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 12:52

Originally posted by jb_128
Looks like Premiere have dropped coverage...

I guess A1 stopped paying for their coverage then. I wonder if Eurosport is their fallback position?

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#40 Felix

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 13:13

These

http://www.motorspor...n_09012301.html

http://www.motorspor...a_09011502.html

(unfortunately in German) state

A1’s New Zealand round not being broadcast by Premiere due to contractual dispute, for which read that A1 owes Premiere money, with the second link saying the cars were impounded in Kuala Lumpur last week after A1 had not paid the shippers/forwarders to get the cars to/out of KL for the December race. They had lain there ever since...

#41 Jackman

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 13:38

I'd have to assume that's their European coverage is done then, at least for this year: they won't be allowed to make another deal (with Eurosport, or whoever) if they've got an existing deal in place with Premiere that they are servicing. They would have pay Premiere off to move the rights elsewhere, and given that they're not paying on a race by race basis they can't afford that, so it looks like lights out for A1, at least in Europe.

Mind you, with the woeful numbers of viewers they've had each year it was clear that something was going to have to give: I think WTCC on Eurosport had better figures than A1.

#42 carbonfibre

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 22:11

Europe is bigger then Germany you know that right? But still not a good thing.

#43 Phucaigh

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 12:31

Its looking good for Adam Carroll and Ireland for the races tomorrow.

I'll watch it, maybe not live being the middle of the night...

#44 Barry Boor

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 22:36

Question: what do the following have in common?

Germany
Canada
Pakistan
Czech Republic
Russia
Greece
Japan

and possibly one or two more I have forgotten.

Answer: they have all taken part in A1GP but are not there now. This is very sad!

The races can be dull and need a reverse grid system, or something like it.

But it is colourful and at least gives this fan something to look at during the dark days of winter.

#45 Georg_Kuyumji

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 00:57

I used to watch the Races on premiere, they were fun, commentators were great (Ben Edwards), cars looked very good, but it was clear they wont succeed if they dont show the racing on free TV. Did they really thought the general public is going to pay to watch something they have never heard of or seen before. I think the whole concept of countries, although not interesting for Motorsport fans, could have catched on to "normal" people, but you cant build up a big sport without air time on free TV. There's no other way around that, no one can get excited about a Race Series only reading about it or seeing short video snippets on youtube. No free TV - no success. A1GP organisers should have seen that coming.

#46 Barry Boor

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 09:13

Good point!

#47 Jackman

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 09:26

They haven't been able to afford to pay for their Premiere coverage: how do you think they could pay for it to be on free to air?

#48 One

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 10:23

Tis A1 GP thingis not a Sow business... It lacks gramour, I assume F2 will follow suits... Too solem approach to racing... I guess they need to attract more sexy guests, like rap stars and porn0 qweens,,, :p

#49 Felix

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 10:41

Yeah, and it is a sow business, the cars are pigs to drive. And it also lacks glammer.

#50 andy-i

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 12:39

Originally posted by Beej
I must admit this season I am losing interest in A1GP. The only reason I subscribe to Sky Sports is for this series and I am seriously thinking of saving the money.


WOW, you must be one of a dozen or so people in the UK who has a SKY SPORTS sub for motorsport:eek:

I think you should ask SKY for a reduction in your sub if that's what you got it for :)