India gets booted out of both sprint and feature race

Sepang, Malaysia, Nov 23 (UNI) In a series of dramatic and unfortunate events, A1 Team India got booted out of both sprint and feature race of the A1 GP World Cup here today.

In the sprint race, as the cars came in formation towards the rolling start, an incident involving US, Brazil and India brought out the red flag.

The pack appeared to pick up pace as it approached the start line, but then backed off causing a concertina effect towards the back of the field.

The US car of Marco Andretti and the Brazilian car of Felipe Guimaraes took it in turn to climb over the back of Narain Karthikeyan's Indian entry scattering debris across the pit straight.

Switzerland held on to win the sprint race for the third year running to become the fifth different race winner in the five races so far this season.

Despite what looked like an extremely bad crash at the start, the Indian team miraculously got ready to take the grid for the afternoon's feature race, where even more excitement was expected.

In good racing spirit, Team US' lead driver did come and apologise to Team India for the unfortunate incident in the previous race.

But yet again, this time with Team Switzerland also getting off the grid early - Team India was booted out by the Netherlands car and India could not finish the feature race as well.

Team India went into the first corner ahead of Netherlands Black Beauty, which suddenly made an unexpected turn straight into Team India's car and tore out the right rear suspension.

Team Netherlands received a drive through penalty.

This was the first time in Karthikeyan's career where he could not complete one racing lap across two consecutive sessions.

A1 Team Ireland became the first nation to score two victories this season, as Adam Carroll dominated the feature race in Malaysia.

A1 Team India Principal, Piers Hunnisset said, ''We had the pace and were quite confident for a podium finish in the feature Race.

''US started behind us and finished third which could have been us if not for the crash. Our will to succeed is now even stronger than before. Watch out for Taupo! - we will be back with blazing guns,'' he added.


Story first published: Sunday, November 23, 2008, 18:34 [IST]
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