Taupo: Team India race report

INDIA'S FIRST EVER POINTS IN A1GP Narain Karthikeyan scored A1 Team India's first ever points in the World Cup of Motorsport today, at the Taupo Motorsport Park in New Zealand. On a tight and twisting track, with limited space for overtaking,...

INDIA'S FIRST EVER POINTS IN A1GP

Narain Karthikeyan scored A1 Team India's first ever points in the World Cup of Motorsport today, at the Taupo Motorsport Park in New Zealand. On a tight and twisting track, with limited space for overtaking, Karthikeyan brought the national flag liveried car home in seventh place from 10th on the grid in the Feature race to collect four points. Karthikeyan, who made his debut with A1 Team India in New Zealand, performed consistently throughout the weekend, to achieve India's best ever qualifying position, Sprint and Feature race results and the second fastest lap of the day. In his first rolling start in some years, Karthikeyan made up three places to move up the running order to seventh. But after the first start was aborted, the 22 A1GP cars reformed the original starting order to make a second rolling start and in the melee, the A1 Team India car fell down to 12th.

After reclaiming 10th, Karthikeyan demonstrating true racer instincts, battling for the final four laps of the race to pass Italy and Great Britain for 8th place. However, on the narrow Taupo circuit and with few laps available, the India racer was unable to find a way past and had to settle with his original grid slot. Commenting on his first A1GP event, Karthikeyan said, "We leave with the first points for A1 Team India, so I'm really pleased, that was what I wanted, and we couldn't really have expected anything more with such little track time and data from the car. We had a few problems in qualifying, but that improved today and we were pretty close to Germany [race winners] in lap times. All in all, it was a positive weekend.

"We've got some valuable information to build on now and to win by the end of the season must be our goal. I've worked really well with the team, I have to say I've been really pleasantly surprised at how good and professional the team is. I really believe in the team now, and I think we will get some great results together this season."

A1 Team Seatholder, Yohann Setna was delighted with the team's performance, "We're really pleased with the result. Narain did a great job on his first outing with the team. I think qualifying maybe hurt our chances a bit, as it's very difficult to pass here. There was little overtaking, even the guys at the front struggled. But the team did a brilliant pit stop which helped us make up a place. We leave New Zealand with our first ever points in A1GP, and hopefully this is only the start. Narain has set another record, not only is he the first Indian to win an international race, a British F3 race, and drive an F1 car, he is now the first Indian to score points in A1GP. We are very lucky to have such an experienced driver with the team, and we hope to welcome him back soon." With a strong Indian community in Sydney, the team will be hoping that their fellow countrymen come out and support the team for the A1GP Eastern Creek, Sydney, Australia from 2 - 4 February 2007.

-credit: team india

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Series A1GP
Drivers Narain Karthikeyan