A1 Team India qualifies in top 10 for sprint race at Chengdu

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Chengdu, China, Nov 8 (UNI) A1 Team India did well to qualify at ninth place on the Chengdu track, which had more than its fair share of action and unexpected events in the A1GP qualifying race here today.

The race saw Ireland taking the pole position with a lap time of 1:15.423 followed by Netherlands at 1:15.492 position and A1 Team India taking the ninth position at 1:16.55.

Commenting on the performance, A1 Team India's ace driver Narain Karthikeyan said, ''We always knew this will be a challenging weekend with a new team and a brand new car. The weather conditions have changed drastically since yesterday and our tyres reacted better in the previous days warmer climate. We, however, were targetting a top 10 qualifying for both sessions and have managed to do so for the sprint race.'' ''I made a mistake in the feature qualifying which led me off the track onto the gravel for the last lap and I had to stop leading me to finish sixteenth for the race. However, we are hopeful to push hard tomorrow and bring back some points. Yesterday we positively surprised ourselves; hopefully tomorrow will also have some good news in store for us,'' he added.

Interestingly, the second round of the sprint qualifying session was called off due to Team Italy's car being stranded on the track which led to lost time.

For the feature race, again Team France's car was red flagged and the session was halted mid way. Team India qualified at P 16 for the feature race finally with a lap time of 1:17.218.

Piers Hunnisett, Team Manager and Narain's coach said, ''The cold weather conditions affected the set up of the car from yesterday. We will work hard to improve the car and look forward to have a better race tomorrow. The team will fight from the back tomorrow and give it all that we have.'' UNI XC HSB PY SK KP1806

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