Shanghai: Team Pakistan race report

A1 Team Pakistan savours the thrill of an F1 circuit in Shanghai A1 Team Pakistan took part in the penultimate round of the A1GP season today, at the Shanghai International Circuit in China. On the long and technical track, Nur Ali brought the...

A1 Team Pakistan savours the thrill of an F1 circuit in Shanghai

A1 Team Pakistan took part in the penultimate round of the A1GP season today, at the Shanghai International Circuit in China. On the long and technical track, Nur Ali brought the car home in 18th place in the Sprint race, but was forced to retire from the longer Feature race with an apparent technical failure. Painted in national colours, the Pakistan car started the morning's Sprint race from the 11th row of the grid and did well to avoid numerous clashes on the first lap. Ali benefited from the mistakes of drivers ahead of him and crossed the line in 18th, the place he would also take for the second race of the day.

Today's Feature race was a typically eventful affair, with many more experienced motorsport nations such as Australia, Mexico and Brazil spinning off or failing to finish. Ali was pushing hard towards the end of the race when he spun off track, but managed to recover. However, just one lap later, the Pakistan car was forced to pull off track permanently with a suspected clutch problem.

Nur Ali commented, "I was very comfortable in the car during the Sprint race, my main aim was to finish the race, work on some areas we had talked about and improve our position for the Feature race. The Feature race was a little more difficult, my car was oversteering a little and the track surface seemed to change, I think it was a little dirty and lot of guys seemed to be going off. Unfortunately on the last lap I had a small spin, but managed to rejoin the track. Then we suffered further bad luck when something seemed to break on the car, which prematurely ended our race."

The Karrachi born driver has enjoyed his first race at the Shanghai circuit, commenting, "Every single track is new for us. But I enjoyed this race, there's a lot of long straights, some tight corners and it's given me the opportunity to learn yet another type of track. I'm racing in Star Mazda Series in the US next week on a street circuit and I'll be able to take the skills and experience I learnt at the A1GP street race in Durban and apply it to this race."

A1 Team Pakistan Manager Bobby Issazadhe added, "The Feature race was quite dramatic, with quite a few safety cars which I think helped Nur refocus and keep up with the pace of the rest of the field. Unfortunately we lost radio communication in the early stages of the race, which compromised our race strategy. We had planned to do an early pit stop, but we had problems communicating this to Nur and he didn't pit until quite late. However, the boys did a fantastic job with their quickest pit stop of the season, so I must say thanks to them for their hard work once again this weekend.

"Unfortunately we didn't manage to finish the Feature race, Nur was complaining of a problem with the clutch and had to pull off track. We have since found there's a bit of clutch oil leaking, so maybe a cylinder broke or something, but hopefully the car won't need a new clutch. The clutch pedal seems to be loose, but we're not sure what the problem is and we're still looking into it and hope to solve the problem before we head to Brands."

A1 Team Pakistan will race again in two weeks time for the 2006/07 season finale. The Brands Hatch circuit in Great Britain was the venue for the first ever A1GP race in September in 2005 and was also the venue for A1 Team Pakistan's first ever point scoring race. The race will take place on 29 April.

-credit: team pakistan

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Nur Ali