Taupo: Team Pakistan race report

NUR ALI RACES FOR PAKISTAN IN NEW ZEALAND A1 Team Pakistan took part in New Zealand's first A1GP race today, at the brand new Taupo Motorsport Park. Ali qualified 22nd for the morning's Sprint race, but made up four places to finish 18th . In...

NUR ALI RACES FOR PAKISTAN IN NEW ZEALAND

A1 Team Pakistan took part in New Zealand's first A1GP race today, at the brand new Taupo Motorsport Park. Ali qualified 22nd for the morning's Sprint race, but made up four places to finish 18th .

In the 70-minute Feature race, the team consolidated their position to finish 18th . While the weather had been kind to the A1GP drivers for the first two days of running in New Zealand, conditions changed for the main event today, with gusty winds blowing debris and dust onto the circuit, the track surface became slippery with several cars having excursions off track. With the customary rolling start, A1 Team Pakistan made good progress, making up four places to reach 18th .

However, race control deemed it to be a false start, forcing the A1GP drivers to reform original positions and re-start the race.

On the second rolling start, Ali made it up to 20th place and while other cars were involved in various incidents, the A1 Team Pakistan car stayed on track to cross the line in 18th . Taking the finishing position from the Sprint race as the starting position for the Feature race, Ali lined up on the ninth row of the grid for A1GP's second race of the day, after an amazing opening ceremony which saw a traditional New Zealand welcome from a local Maori tribe.

The tight track proved difficult for overtaking and although some of the front runners jostled for position, there was limited opportunity for the field to make up ground. Speaking about the Sprint and Feature races, Ali said, "The Sprint race started off well. We passed about four cars in the first few corners and then I heard over the radio that the start had been aborted, so we went round to take the start again.

Unfortunately, the second time it didn't go quite so well, but we kept it clean and finished the race in 18th .

"In the Feature race I was looking forward to improving my times and moving up a couple of places but unfortunately on the first lap Ireland spun in front of me and I had to take evasive action which cost me a lot of time. That separated me from the rest of the field and from there it was difficult to maintain a good pace. Because the track is so short, a lot of traffic was coming up behind me and I had to keep moving over as any driver should do in that situation. That hurt our lap times quite a bit and of course as soon as you move off-line here, you pick up a lot of debris on the tyres. Right now I'm looking forward to the next race in Australia."

-credit: team pakistan

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Series A1GP