Chinese-Dutch A1GP newcomer Ho-Pin Tung made waves on his series debut in Sentul last weekend, charging through the monsoon-like conditions into the top ten, only to see all his hard work undone by a lack of grip and mechanical gremlins.

The German Formula Three Cup champion - beating the likes of Team Germany star Nico Hulkenberg on his way to the title - took to the track for Team China in Indonesia. He qualified an encouraging 12th-fastest in the 21-car field alongside Sepang sprint race winner Neel Jani in the Swiss machine, despite battling against poor balance, a flat tyre, braking issues and electrical woes. Unfortunately a driving error put Tung out on lap 12, leaving him to start right at the back of the grid in the longer feature.

"Oversteer made better lap times in the sprint impossible," he explained. "Midfield was the maximum. I then drove a bit wide in one of the corners, went over the kerb stones and found myself stuck at the edge of the track."

Undeterred by this early exit, a stirring drive up through the order in the feature saw the 24-year-old lying in eighth position in the torrential conditions, setting lap times as quick as those of the race leaders. An uncompetitive set of wet tyres when the rain was at its heaviest, however, stymied his charge and left him down in a disappointing 14th place at the chequered flag.

"They were extremely bad tyres," he said afterwards, "and the change to slicks later came a little early for me."

Looking back over his maiden outing in the series, though, Tung said he was pleased with his performance in the tricky conditions and eager to return.

"The team works well and my control of the car was good," he added. "Just look at my lap times in the first stint of the feature race.

"Of course I was honored that I had the opportunity to compete for China, and with fewer technical problems the result would certainly have been better."



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