Karthikeyan battles bravely in front of over 300 Indian fans

Sydney, Feb 3 (UNI) Narain Karthikeyan brought his years of experience into play to skillfully steer his way from the very back of the grid to finish the feature race at 11th place for A1 team India in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport here today.

A1 Team India had a tough 19th place starting position on the grid for the 42-lap feature race which left them open to the risk of potentially damaging midfield traffic.

The team took a strategic yet risky call when they attempted to go out on slicks (dry weather tyres) in the hope of improving weather conditions and the chance of picking up positions with improved pace.

Unfortunately as all the teams went out on the formation lap, worsening weather conditions rendered the car 'un-driveable' and the strategy was recalled as A1 Team India went into the pit lane to change tyres almost immediately. As a result, Karthikeyan began his race from the pit lane. However, he steadily fought his way up under treacherous weather conditions.

An interesting battle pursued between A1 Team's India, China and Pakistan. A1 Team India finished the race at 11th place after having moved all the way up from the bottom of the grid.

A1 Team China finished 10th and A1 Team Pakistan had its best ever finish at 12th.

In the Sprint race A1 Team India started 13th on the grid and in a format where it is difficult to pick up positions, Karthikeyan drove hard and finished at a respectable 11th place, just short of picking up a point.

Karthikeyan said ''It was a rather challenging race with the unpredictable weather conditions, but it certainly made for an exciting driver's race.'' ''Unfortunately we were not able to pick up points this weekend. It is vital we get a good set-up for the car to improve our qualifying position and be able to move up the grid as we already know what we are then capable of achieving. I look forward to racing and picking up points for the next race in South Africa on the February 24,'' he added.


Story first published: Sunday, February 3, 2008, 22:38 [IST]
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