INDIA NARROWLY MISS OUT IN A1GP ZANDVOORT FEATURE RACE THRILLER A capacity crowd of 75,000 fans watched a stunning race at the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport's opening weekend at Zandvoort. The 70 minute feature race, characterised by ...
INDIA NARROWLY MISS OUT IN A1GP ZANDVOORT FEATURE RACE THRILLER
A capacity crowd of 75,000 fans watched a stunning race at the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport's opening weekend at Zandvoort. The 70 minute feature race, characterised by breathtaking overtaking moves and unpredictable conditions, was finally won by A1 Team Germany, the country's first-ever A1GP victory, just over seven seconds ahead of A1 Teams USA and Australia. A1 Team Netherlands finished its home race in a popular 4th position. 17 year old Armaan Ebrahim, representing A1 Team India, drove with superb composure in difficult conditions and survived an earlier spin to climb to 7th place before spinning again with just 5 laps to go and finishing 18th.
In the sprint race, Armaan got a fantastic start climbing five places before the first corner. Unfortunately he was faced with two spinning drivers ahead of him, and had nowhere to go except off the track to avoid them. He pulled off a brilliant manoeuvre to avoid the spinning cars, but landed himself off the track and onto a wet piece of grass where the car got beached. That was the end of his sprint race. His Team Manager Alan Cole was all praises for Armaan's abilities for avoiding what could have been a big shunt and would have undoubtedly caused a lot of damage to the car.
Armaan repeated his start line prowess in the feature race, and picked up four places by the end of lap one. He put his head down and drove steadily, climbing up to 7th place by lap 14. After his compulsory pit-stop, he was running 10th when the heavens opened up. All the drivers, Armaan included, pitted to change to full wet-weather tyres. He continued his excellent smooth driving, having a great dice with Cheng Congfu of A1 Team China, swapping 11th and 12th a few times. Meanwhile the rain had ceased, and the track was now drying out rapidly. Soon the track had a distinct dry line almost all the way around, and many drivers started to pit again for dry tyres. With a few rain clouds still in the sky, A1 Team India took a gamble and decided not to change Armaan back onto slicks. This proved to be too much of a gamble, and with the rain not recurring, Armaan's tyres were losing grip, lap by lap. On lap 35, and with the front tyres almost shot to pieces, the car ran wide out of the first corner and Armaan's race ended in the gravel trap. He was classified 18th.
Commenting on the race, Armaan said, "This was my first time driving at Zandvoort, and with the intermittent sunshine and heavy downpours on what is renowned as a very demanding track, it was very challenging. Unfortunately I ended up on wet weather tyres which went bald as the track dried out towards the end of the race and this resulted in my spin. Handling was a bit problematic but I was nevertheless happy overall with the car set-up and am confident that, with the engineering team we have in place and with the experience of Zandvoort under my belt, we can expect a stronger finish at Brno next weekend."
-credit: team india