A1 Pakistan team readies for return
A1 Team Pakistan finally made a return to the race track last week, following the completion of the build program for its new A1GP car. The team shook down the new car at the Phakisa Freeway Circuit in Welkom, South Africa, on Monday, with a further two days of testing on Tuesday and Wednesday. Seatholder and driver for the team, Adam Khan, was behind the wheel and was pleased with the progress the team made over the course of the test session.
Khan completed 68 laps on the first full day of running and 74 laps on the second day, improving his times and developing the setup of the car with his engineer, John Gentry.
Khan said of the test, "It's been a long wait for me to have a car which I could safely and comfortably fit, but it's been worth it. I really enjoyed the handling of this new A1GP Powered by Ferrari car, and I was gaining confidence throughout the test. It was a very smooth running test and with the excellent reliability we had, we were able to quickly move on to developing our performance.
"Unfortunately we're a long way behind the other teams now, as they have completed four race weekends and that's given them plenty of time to understand the complexity of the car, its handling characteristics and setup development. We elected not to contest the South African round, but we'll be racing again at the next round in Portugal."
A1 Team Pakistan Team Manager, Les Jones, added, "Our build program for this new car has been severely delayed and has left us at a considerable disadvantage with the lack of track time that we've had, so it is the right decision to sit out the next round and continue our test program before racing again.
"This initial test was very productive and I'm very pleased with what we've achieved. Our test program with Adam was the focus for the three days. Adam and John (Gentry) have quickly established a good working relationship, which is a very important aspect of any top motor racing team. The whole team worked very hard to pull the program together this week and their efforts were rewarded with excellent mechanical reliability."
A1 Team Pakistan has competed in every season of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. Khan raced in the first and third seasons, with a sabbatical to complete his university studies in the second season. The 2008/09 A1GP Series continues on the 10-12 April with the sixth round being held at the Algarve Circuit in Portugal.