Points finish for A1 Team India in Portugal

Points finish for A1 Team India in Portugal

13.04.2009: A1 Team India added 3 points to its championship tally with a 6th place finish in the Sprint race, starting from 9th place on the starting grid. For the feature race Narain started in 17th place on the grid. Unfortunately in the feature race qualifying

A1 Team India added 3 points to its championship tally with a 6th place finish in the Sprint race, starting from 9th place on the starting grid. For the feature race Narain started in 17th place on the grid. Unfortunately in the feature race qualifying on Saturday afternoon, Narain was blocked on his flying lap by the car of A1 Team Malaysia who was on his slowing down lap. This resulted in the poor starting position on the grid. Nevertheless, Narain was intent on climbing his way up the field, as he felt that he had a good setup for the race on Sunday.

In the run down to the first corner of the Sprint race, Narain got passed by A1 Team Malaysia, but immediately re passed at Turn 3. He then put in some very strong lap-times until the first routine pit-stop. The A1 Team India pit-crew did a superb pit-stop and Narain drove very well for the rest of the 15 lap race, finishing 6th.

The Feature race started at 3 pm local time and the weather was cool and very windy. Narain got a brilliant start and clawed his way up to 12th place from his starting place of 17th by the end of the first lap. His confidence in the car was building with every passing lap. The A1 Team India pit-crew again did 2 fantastic pit-stops and after the second round of pit-stops Narain was up to 4th place, an incredible climb up the leader-board.

With 10 laps to go, he even put in the fastest lap of the race up to that point. He was closing in on 3rd place A1 Team Portugal with 5 laps remaining, when he started experiencing severe brake problems, and was also complaining that the car was beginning to become very difficult to turn right. This problem led to him losing 4th place to A1 Team Malaysia. Unfortunately with only 2 laps to go, and a sure 5th place finish in sight, the car slid off the track in the braking zone of Turn 11 and into the gravel trap. Upon inspection, it was discovered that it was a left front wheel bearing failure that put paid to Narain & A1 Team India best potential finish of the season thus far.

After the race, Narain said, “I have mixed emotions about the day today. We had two great races today. Unfortunately due to a wheel bearing failure, we did not finish the feature race, but the race pace of the A1 Team India car in both races was fantastic. We were running very strongly in the top 5 during the feature race, and the car felt fantastic to drive.

My team of engineers and mechanics did a superb job all weekend long, and I really want to thank them for that. The next round of the championship is in 3 weeks in Brands Hatch in the UK, one of my favourite tracks, and where I won last year. I’m confident that the team can do the job again next time around and we will get the finish that we truly deserve.”


Yohann J Setna, A1 Team India - photo A1 GP

More photos on automobilsport.com under PHOTOS SLIDESHOWS and Photos Ecards A1GP

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13.04.2009 / MaP

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