BEST FINISH OF THE SEASON FOR A1 TEAM PAKISTAN
Flying the green and white flag of Pakistan, Nur Ali took part in his fifth event in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, at the Sentul Circuit in Indonesia to take the team's best finish of the season. For the second consecutive event, weather conditions disrupted the A1GP race schedule and forced A1 Team Pakistan to make set-up changes for a wet Feature race, in which the team finished 15th. Ali finished 20th in the earlier Sprint race. Nur Ali enjoyed the tropical surroundings of Indonesia earlier in the week, taking part in an A1GP PR event which saw drivers from 12 other nations race through forest on All Terrain Vehicles. In a vehicle much more suited to the race track, Ali took his place on the 11th row of the Sprint race grid in the A1 Team Pakistan car, and completed a fairly uneventful race to finish 20th.
As the A1GP cars took to the grid for the Feature race, the skies opened over the Sentul circuit, forcing the team to make set-up changes. After the field completed two exploratory laps behind the safety car, the start of the race was delayed 50 minutes until the worst of the storm had passed. In treacherous conditions, Ali kept the Pakistan car on track through the majority of the race, while other drivers crashed off and took excursions across the gravel.
After a prolonged safety period at the end of the race, Ali had a small spin, but kept the car going to cross the line in 15th. Commenting on his day, Ali said, "I had a fairly good start for the Sprint race, but lost some pace after about five laps which unfortunately set me back from the rest of the field. After that I tried to adjust my lines and brake a little later, which improved my times.
"As for the Feature race, we obviously got our best result of the season, which is great for both the team and me. Visibility for the first few laps was very poor, but then as the rain eased up it started to improve. At that point I was able to pick up a bit of time and I think the experience I gained in the wet at Sepang helped.
"I didn't find the hot or rainy conditions here tiring, so I will be maintaining my fitness over the break and just having a bit of rest before the season starts again. I'm really looking forward to getting to New Zealand." Bobby Issazadhe, Team Manager of A1 Team Pakistan, added, "We finished what was quite a dramatic Feature race and as Nur has little experience of racing in the wet, this is a good achievement. We saw that the teams using slicks were considerably faster at the end of the race, and although there weren't many laps left we thought it would be good experience for Nur on slick tyres on a drying track. It also gave the team a chance to complete another pit stop and get some real practice. Obviously when he went out on slicks, the track wasn't completely dry and after a long safety car period, tyre temperatures dropped too, which resulted in Nur spinning off. But he managed to keep the engine running and rejoined the track."
A1 Team Pakistan will take a six week break, before racing re-commences in the new year when A1GP makes it's first visit to New Zealand for the next round from 19 - 21 January.
-credit: team pakistan