Disappointing race for Pakistan in Mexico City The bad luck A1 Team Pakistan endured at the last round in South Africa continued in Mexico City this weekend, with the team retiring from both the Sprint and Feature races. The promising pace...
Disappointing race for Pakistan in Mexico City
The bad luck A1 Team Pakistan endured at the last round in South Africa continued in Mexico City this weekend, with the team retiring from both the Sprint and Feature races. The promising pace shown by A1 Team Pakistan driver Adam Khan failed to deliver any points after the team were involved in an incident on the final lap of the Feature race while lying 10th.
The racing action kicked off on Sunday morning with the 20 minute Sprint race. Khan lined up 15th for the traditional rolling start, but as the pack crawled around the final corner towards the start/finish line and the start of the race, the cars bunched together and Khan was caught out by the slowing German car ahead of him. Unable to avoid a collision, the Pakistan car hit Germany and was left stranded on the pit straight. The incident stopped the race, allowing track officials to push the Pakistan car back to the pits while the remaining A1GP cars lined up for the restart. Carrying out the necessary repairs to the car on the grid, the A1 Team Pakistan mechanics did an impressive job to get the car ready for the restart.
As the cars filed round the final corner for the second Sprint race start, Khan made a good getaway and was fighting with season one champions, A1 Team France into the first corner. However, the team were hit by more bad luck when Khan was hit from behind by the Australian car, causing damage to the Pakistan car. Forced to pit with handling problems, the team ruled out a rear puncture and Khan returned to the track. However, just one lap later, the rear suspension failed, forcing the team into retirement.
Hoping for better luck in the Feature race, Khan lined up 17th in front of an enthusiastic Mexican crowd. As the 22 A1GP cars revved their engines expectantly, the race lights failed and the start was aborted. All 22 cars made it off the line when the race was restarted a few minutes later, as Khan fought with Brazil, France and Australia for position. Making up one place, the team lay 16th at the end of the first lap. Following the retirement of Italy and an early pit stop by Australia, Khan was 14th by lap three, only to lose a position a lap later as Brazil found a way past.
Emerging from the team's first pit stop in 15th place, Khan was charging to catch the cars in front of him. A safety car period on lap 26 following an incident with A1 Team New Zealand bunched up the field and elevated Khan to 14th place. Khan continued to push hard until his second pit stop, when the Pakistan crew made a quick stop allowing Khan to return to the track in 12th place. A drive through penalty for A1 Team Malaysia and Switzerland put Pakistan in 10th place. However, with just half a lap remaining, Pakistan and Switzerland were in a tough fight for the final points paying position and following contact between the two cars, the Pakistan car spun off track and was unable to finish.
Speaking about the Feature race, Khan said, "I'm really disappointed with the result today, we were on course for a point this afternoon, but contact with the Swiss car took away that opportunity. I'm not happy leaving with no points, I know I'm capable of regular point finishes, and it's extremely frustrating when a good performance from both myself and the team still leaves us empty handed."
A1 Team Pakistan team manager John Allen added, "Well I'm really disappointed for Adam and the team. Adam drove really well, we had good pit stops, his pace was excellent and his times were very competitive compared to the top ten. We were looking at a fairly certain points paying position when just a few turns from home a very competitive situation with A1 Team Switzerland resulted in retirement. The result doesn't reflect the effort and ability of the team and the driver."
A1 Team Pakistan and Adam Khan will be flying the flag at the penultimate round of the season in four weeks time at the A1GP Shanghai, China. The Chinese round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport will be shown in Pakistan on Geo Super.