Team Pakistan's Adam Khan recovered from the setback of a lap one collision in the first of Sunday's two A1 Grand Prix races at Estoril, Portugal, to gain nine positions in the action- packed second race of the day.

The Team Pakistan car ran throughout this weekend, the third round of the World Cup of motorsport, in a new livery. Setting aside commercial considerations, the team donated the advertising space on its car to three major charities that are supporting the Asia earthquake victims (the President's Earthquake Relief Fund, the Disaster Emergency Committee and Mir Kahlil ur Rehman Foundation).

Starting from 21st on the grid for the opening 18-lap Sprint Race, Khan soon got caught- up in a racing incident.

"I got a pretty good start, but when you qualify towards the back of the grid, the chances of being involved in an incident are far greater as you're trying to make up as many places as possible," said Khan. "As I entered turn one, two cars spun in front of me. I braked and tried to avoid getting caught up, but I couldn't avoid the Mexican car and I made contact. It was game over."

With minimal time between races, the Super Nova International Racing team inspected the Team Pakistan car for damage, replaced the nose cone, installed the race set-up and lined-up on the grid for the next race in less than 30 minutes. With the finishing order of the Sprint Race determining starting positions for the 60 minute (36-lap) Feature Race, Khan had to take the last space on the grid.

Khan made a good start, and with A1 Team Brazil and A1 Team Netherlands stalling on the grid, by lap one he had already gained four places. In a race which witnessed three safety car periods and the retirement of A1 Team Mexico, Indonesia, South Africa, Malaysia, Germany, Netherlands and Canada, Khan came from the back of the grid to finish 15th.

"The team did a fantastic job to get the car repaired for the second race," added Khan. "Unfortunately, I struggled with oversteer due to the tyre wear, so I wasn't able to maintain consistency. The plan now is to solve the minor problems before the next race in Australia."

The Operations Director of A1 Team Pakistan, Asim Husain, said: "It was unfortunate that Adam was involved as an innocent victim in the first race, which resulted in the 24th starting position for the Feature Race. Despite this handicap, Adam recovered quite considerably and whilst a top ten finish would have been preferable he finished a respectable 15th when many teams failed to finish at all."

Team Principal, David Sears added: "With an incident and the deployment of the safety car on the opening lap of the Feature Race we decided to take advantage of the situation and pit early. Adam's tyres then had to complete 34 laps of a 36-lap race. Unfortunately, this caused the car to suffer from oversteer. I'm happy with the car's reliability and look forward to making progress in Australia."

 

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