Sydney, Feb 1 (UNI) Narain Karthikeyan found the abrasive tarmac surface of the track too rough to negotiate as A1 Team India finished 18thn the second Official Practice session here today prior to the qualifiers tomorrow for round six of the AI GP, the World Cup of Motorsport.
A1 Team India was placed 18th in the second Official Practice session with a lap time of 1:20.936 with a top speed of 262.1 Kph.
As A1 Team India's rookie driver was unavailable for personal reasons, Narain Karthikeyan took to the particularly abrasive track at Eastern Creek,for the first time this afternoon to test the car set-up before the qualifying session.
After the race, Narain said,''It was quite an eye opener for me today. It is a track I have never raced on before. The track surface was particularly bumpy and wore the tyres out very quickly. However, the car is looking good and I am expecting a top 10 qualifying position tomorrow.'' The surface of the track seemed to be the heated topic of discussion post today's qualifying session across several team's engineering meetings. It wore tyres out quickly and those teams with the most circuit knowledge through prior data and rookie session practice seemed to gain most by recording their quickest sector times in laps 2 and 3.
A car set-up with good traction will be vital for tomorrow's qualifying to prevent the tyres from getting blistered and worn out quickly. Circuit knowledge is also crucial.
A shuffling in the classification order showed in the otherwise title leader's A1 Team Germany and A1 Team Switzerland placing 14th and 12th respectively. Interestingly, even Chris Alajajian of A1 Team Lebanon saw his best ever position at fifth place. A1 Team France came out on top of the charts in today's practice, followed by A1 Team Canada and A1 Team Great Britain.
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