Sentul: Team India race report

FOR A1 TEAM INDIA IN INDONESIA In tropical surroundings, A1 Team India raced today at the Sentul Circuit in Indonesia, 43 km west of the capital Jakarta. As the rain stayed away for the Sprint race, Armaan Ebrahim, the youngest driver in the...

FOR A1 TEAM INDIA IN INDONESIA

In tropical surroundings, A1 Team India raced today at the Sentul Circuit in Indonesia, 43 km west of the capital Jakarta. As the rain stayed away for the Sprint race, Armaan Ebrahim, the youngest driver in the A1GP field, finished 18th, before the skies opened for the Feature race, in which A1 Team India were unfortunately disqualified for a penalty infringement.

Starting the 15 lap Sprint race from 16th on the grid, one spot ahead of the home team, A1 Team Indonesia, Ebrahim made a good start and although he dropped two spots in the early stages he remained undaunted. Refusing to give up track position, Ebrahim fought back to regain a place from A1 Team Ireland on lap three. With nine laps to go, the Irish car repeated the overtaking move to put India down to 19th. After A1 Team China crashed off, Ebrahim finished in 18th position, the slot the team took for the afternoon's 50 lap Feature race.

The start of the Feature race was brought forward half an hour in an attempt to avoid the storms that have frequented afternoons at the Sentul Circuit this week. However, as the A1GP cars lined up on the grid, the rain came down and organisers were forced to delay the race after two exploratory laps behind the safety car proved the weather conditions were too dangerous for racing to commence. Allowing the worst of the storm to pass, the Feature race finally began 50 minutes later.

With visibility still poor, Ebrahim followed the incorrect guidance of a marshal to his grid slot, which was deemed a jump start. The team were consequently given a drive through penalty which under A1GP regulations must be taken within three laps of notification. Radio communication problems hindered the team from informing Abrahim of the penalty and the team missed the three lap window, resulting in the A1 Team India car being shown the black flag and disqualified from the race.

Commenting on his day, Ebrahim said, "Obviously I'm disappointed, the marshal on my grid slot told me to move forward, which I did. And I had no way of knowing that the team were calling me in for a drive through penalty. I couldn't see the pit board, the radio was broken and just kept making a beeping noise all race. By the time I saw the pit board the team were telling me to stop as we had been disqualified. "My priority now is to just forget about this race, and have some rest and prepare for the remainder of the season. I'll be training hard over the break and will be ready to get back in the car in January with a new frame of mind."

Yohann J Setna, Seat holder for A1 Team India added, "Armaan came onto the grid for the Feature race and came to stop when one of the marshal signalled to him to move forwards. As he couldn't see the grid slot clearly because of the rain, he moved as instructed, which counted as a false start. The weather conditions then conspired against us, Armaan couldn't see the pit board because of the spray and the radio wasn't working all race, so we had no way of communicating with him. So through no fault of our own we got black flagged. It's a shame because he wasn't off the pace and with all the incidents and retirements in the race I think we could have got a good result."

A1 Team India will now take a six week break before the next round in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. The global series will make its first visit to Taupo in New Zealand for the southern most race on the A1GP calendar. The Taupo race will take place from 19 thru 21 January.

-credit: team india

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