Khan creates excitement in Brno
Sunday, October 14, 2007
In bright and cold conditions, A1 Team Pakistan raced for the pride of their nation today in the second round of this season’s A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. In the morning’s Sprint race, A1 Team Pakistan driver Adam Khan finished in a strong 15th place. However, struggling for speed in the Feature race, the team crossed the line 20th, but not before providing some of the most exciting racing of the weekend.
As the 22 cars thundered down towards the first corner for the traditional Sprint race rolling start, Khan was passed by two cars and dropped to 15th place by the end of lap one. Refusing to give up track position, the 22 year-old racer continued to battle his way through the field, passing A1 Team Malaysia. However, still suffering with handling problems, Khan was passed by Italy on lap two and dropped to 15th. Without the grip and handling speed to pass the cars ahead, Khan continued to stay close to the back of the Italian car and pulled out a comfortable gap from A1 Team USA and former F1 racer and last year’s race winner Alex Yoong in the Malaysian car.
Conditions remained cold and dry for the main event – the 38 lap Feature race. In a new regulation for season three, the Feature race now includes two mandatory pit stops, making team performance and race strategy a key element of the weekend.
Still suffering from the handling problems that had plagued the team throughout the weekend, Khan struggled to make up position on track in the Feature race. Despite this, a fantastic battle with last year’s champions A1 Team Germany mid way through the race proved the highlight of the day. Racing in ninth place having made just one pit stop, Khan was caught by the German car, which had already made its two mandatory pit stops. Lap after lap, Khan kept the much faster German car behind him before finally making his second pit stop on lap 30. Khan emerged back on track in 20th place, the position he would maintain to the chequered flag.
Reflecting on a difficult weekend, Khan said, “I made quite a good start in the Sprint race, but unfortunately had to take evasive action to avoid an accident ahead involving A1 Team India and that lost me quite a few places. I think P15 was the best we could have hoped for today.
“The Feature race was quite frustrating. I enjoyed a good battle with A1 Team Germany, even though my car must have been about two seconds slower a lap, I wasn’t going to let him past! Yes, I had to make another pit stop, but I wasn’t under any obligation to let him past, I think I raced hard but fair. You can’t make it easy for people to overtake you, that goes against what I’m here to do for Pakistan, which is to represent the country to the best of my ability. Its been a difficult weekend, but we will be putting it behind us now and completely focusing on the rest of the season starting in Malaysia in six weeks time.”
A1 Team Pakistan team manager Bobby Issazadhe added, “In the second pit stop the wheel nut came loose from the wheel gun, so I think we lost a bit of time there. Adam defended very well against Germany in the Feature race, but this possibly cost us a bit of time. After the last pit stop he was putting in some very good and consistent lap times, but unfortunately it was very hard to make up any positions in the latter stages of the race. A disappointing weekend overall I think, but we will be aiming to do better and get our first points of the season in Malaysia.”
A1 Team Pakistan will take a six week break before continuing their championship campaign at the impressive Sepang F1 circuit from 23 – 25 November. The state of the art facility, which is situated 60km south of the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, has been a regular on the A1GP calendar since 2005. It will also be the first track the team have visited this season where Khan has previous experience, having represented Pakistan there in the first season of A1GP.