Chaotic race for Pakistan at Zhuhai The A1GP Zhuhai, China provided some action packed racing today, as A1 Team Pakistan raced for glory in the fourth round of the 2007/08 season. Following a difficult qualifying session yesterday, A1 Team ...
Chaotic race for Pakistan at Zhuhai
The A1GP Zhuhai, China provided some action packed racing today, as A1 Team Pakistan raced for glory in the fourth round of the 2007/08 season. Following a difficult qualifying session yesterday, A1 Team Pakistan driver Adam Khan made up several places to finish 14th in both the Sprint and Feature races.
As the lights went out for A1GP's first Sprint race at the Zhuhai International Circuit, Khan made a good start, diving down the outside as the 22 cars hurtled towards the first corner. Filing around the first corner in safety, an incident at the back of the field on the second corner resulted in a group of cars crashing. Picking his way carefully around the unfolding melee without losing position, Khan emerged in 15th place.
As many more experience drivers clashed and suffered the consequences, Khan kept the Pakistan car on track and by lap 11 was up to 14th, the position he would take at the chequered flag.
After a colourful opening ceremony watched by an enthusiastic local crowd, the 22 A1GP cars took their positions for the 70 minute Feature race. Featuring a standing start, Khan made a stunning start, passing the cars of the Czech Republic and Lebanon. However, as the cars thundered towards the tight first corner, Khan was left with no where to go, was forced onto the grass and was hit by another car. With a missing front wing and severe damage to the bodywork, Khan limped back to the pits for a new nose cone and front wing.
Emerging from the pits in 18th place and despite the team's earlier problems, Khan continued to race hard, passing the Portuguese car in a great move at the first corner on lap 6. As various teams crashed off track, Khan kept pushing, and was up to 14th by lap 23.
The team made their second mandatory pit stop on lap 32, and emerged in 14th with 13 laps to go. Driving a solitary race from there to the end, Khan maintained his position to cross the finish line.
Reflecting on the Feature race, Khan said, "I had a great start, unfortunately there was a bit of action mid-field, and two cars spun ahead of me. I had to take avoiding action, and was forced onto the grass, and then I think it was Australia who cut right across me and took off the front wing. By the time I had stopped for a new nose cone, I was already a lap behind, so the race was really over by then. Its just luck of the draw really - that's racing. At least my pace was there; we were putting in competitive laps towards the end of the race. I think in future races, we need to focus on qualifying and start higher up the grid. Then we'll be able to get the results rather than just talk about them!"
A1 Team Seat holder Arif Husain added, "Zhuhai has put on a fantastic show as we expected, with the A1GP cars providing some incredibly exciting racing. Unfortunately, we were a little too close to the action in the Feature race, and the damage done to the car on the first lap undoubtedly ruined any chances of a good finish. Nevertheless, the team are continuing to improve and Adam showed good pace today. We'll be building on this progress in New Zealand where hopefully we will move further up the finishing order."
A1GP will take a five-week break before the next round at Taupo, New Zealand. Having missed the second season of A1GP, the Taupo circuit will be another new experience for A1 Team Pakistan driver Adam Khan. Track action will kick off from 18- 20 January 2008.