A1 Team India faces gear shift problems in qualifying session

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New Delhi, Jan 19 (UNI) A1 Team India, fresh from its recent victory at China last month, had an unfortunate start to the weekend as the team struggled on the qualifying session at the fifth A1GP race of the season, with the car.

As 22 nations battled it out in suddenly tricky weather conditions at New Zealand's lake city of Taupo, A1 Team India driver, Narain Karthikeyan experienced severe gear selection problems, according to information received here today.

''I had a problem during downshifting of the gear box. The problem persisted from this morning's practice through to the entire qualifying session,'' Karthikeyan said.

''Essentially it seems more like a mechanical than an electronic problem. The team is working on the car now,'' he added.

India occupied the 20th place on the starting grid for the Sprint race and 19th for the Feature race with a lap time of 1:16.791 seconds.

A1 Team India CEO Andaleeb Sehgal was hopeful that India would put up a better show after the technical problems in the car are resolved.

''We faced problems with the set up of the car today. We will work on the car overnight and hope we move up on the grid in the race tomorrow,'' he said.

The A1 Team India mechanics are trying to work on the problem and will look at turning around the car's performance for tomorrow.

UNI RAR AB AS1416

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