Pakistan off to a flying start in Durban A1 Team Pakistan and Adam Khan made a flying start to the A1GP Durban, South Africa today, setting competitive times from the outset. Following special dispensation from A1GP organisers, Pakistan...
Pakistan off to a flying start in Durban
A1 Team Pakistan and Adam Khan made a flying start to the A1GP Durban, South Africa today, setting competitive times from the outset. Following special dispensation from A1GP organisers, Pakistan were able to compete in the one-hour long rookie session for the first time this season and were quickly among the frontrunners.
With the beautiful backdrop of the Durban coastline, Adam Khan made a perfect start to his weekend, setting the fastest time in the early stages of the first session. The 22 year-old racer continued the trend to finish the session in the top five.
Having made a number of set-up changes to the car, Khan took to the track for the second practice session of the day. While improving his times, the Pakistan driver was caught out by the early braking Irish car ahead of him, and hit the wall trying to avoid a collision. However, with little damage done to the car, Khan was able to make his way back to the pits during a red flag period where the team repaired the damage. Returning to the track for the final minutes of the session, Khan was able to set the 13th fastest time of the afternoon.
Reflecting on the first day of track action, Khan said, "It was definitely a big help being able to take part in the rookie session today. We've been missing out on that all season, and as an independent team with no technical partners, we have no-one to share data with. It helped a lot this morning to get in those extra laps, complete a mechanical shake-down and get some extra knowledge of the circuit.
"We were making progress in the second session, and then at one point I was catching the A1 Team Ireland car down the back straight. He seemed to brake early and I was caught out by that, and had to take avoiding action. The rear end of the car spun out and I hit the wall which broke the nose. I couldn't get the car back to the pits and had to park the car up. Luckily there was then a red flag and I was able to get a push start and get the car back to the pits.
"I think we can make a few improvements before qualifying, the car feels pretty stable over the bumpy surface here, but I think there's a few corners where we can make up some time. I'm pretty optimistic for tomorrow."
Team driver coach Danny Watts said, "I'm really impressed with how Adam did today. This is a very difficult circuit, with no margin for error. He was immediately on the pace from the first practice session and continued to improve throughout the day. A small spin in the second session put us out of action for a while, but with little damage to the car we were able to recover from that. Hopefully we will be able to maintain this momentum when it really matter tomorrow in qualifying."
Team Manager John Allen added, "I think he did really well, we managed to get a dispensation to do the rookie session, so that gave us an extra hour on track. Hopefully, as a developing motorsport nation, we will be able to take part in the rookie session for the remainder of the season. I think we had a very strong start to the weekend today, and we'll push to improve our times further tomorrow."
The team will be back out on track for final practice and qualifying tomorrow. Racing will get underway at 11.00 on Sunday for the Sprint race and 15.00 for the Feature race.