New challenge for Pakistan in China UPDATE A reader asks, Dear AutoRacing1.com, How can A1GP manage to pull off a race in Zhuhai, China and Champ Car can't? Dave East
Dear Dave, Quite simple - Champ Car is not willing to lose a large sum of money on the event but A1GP seems quite happy to continue to lose large sums of money without blinking an eye. With the Ferrari name coming on board, perhaps that will change over time. Mark C.
12/12/07 A1 Team Pakistan face a new challenge this weekend, as the team prepare for the A1GP Zhuhai, China. Situated close to Hong Kong and Macau, Zhuhai is the first of two visits the team will make to China this season. A new track on the A1GP calendar, all 22 teams will experience the Zhuhai circuit for the first time when track action commences on Friday. 22 year-old Adam Khan will again take his place behind the wheel for this, the fourth event in the 2007/08 season.
Built in 1996, the Zhuhai International Circuit was the first permanent motor racing circuit in China, and was upgraded in 1999 by the renowned designer Hermann Tilke. At 4.3 km long, the circuit features 14 corners and several long straights, designed to facilitate overtaking. With 520 bhp and an extra 30 bhp available with the PowerBoost facility, the 22 A1GP cars are bound to put on a spectacular show.
A new track for all the A1GP teams, track time and experience will be vital to gaining a good set-up early on in the weekend. Having already completed more than six races in a previous season of A1GP, Khan is unable to take part in Friday's rookie session. With no eligible rookie currently available, Pakistan will be the only team forced to sit out the rookie sessions.
In the search for a rookie driver, A1 Team Pakistan will test Asad Khuhro later this month. With motorsport a relatively new sport in Pakistan, Khuhro has competed in several karting championships and races, and currently leads the Pakistan National Karting Championship. A popular form of motorsport in Pakistan, Khuhro is also a top Rallycross driver, meaning the Karachi resident has experience in various forms of motorsport.
Speaking about the weekend ahead, A1 Team Pakistan driver Adam Khan said, "I'm really looking forward to getting on track on Friday. This circuit will be a new experience for all the teams, although some of the drivers have raced here before. As a new venue for A1GP it will be the teams that learn the circuit quickly that do well. Unfortunately we will be on the back foot slightly having missed out on the rookie session, but I'm hoping to be able to make amends for that as the weekend progresses."
A1 Team Pakistan seatholder Arif Husain added, "The last race in Malaysia saw a disappointing result for Pakistan and I know both the team and Adam believe we should be further up the order. While A1 Team Pakistan are focusing on getting the best race results possible, we must also look to build and develop the team further, and find a driver able to support the team and Adam. As the only team without a rookie driver in Zhuhai, it is essential that we fill this role as soon as possible and the move to test new drivers will take us a step closer to achieving that goal."
The A1GP Zhuhai, China will commence on 14 December, with track action for A1 Team Pakistan kicking off at 14.00 local time. Final practice and qualifying for the Sprint and Feature race will take place on Saturday, while the Sprint and Feature races will begin on Sunday at 11.00 and 15.00 respectively.