Sheikh Maktoum's desire to bring together traditional sporting rivals in his A1 Grand Prix brainchild went slightly beyond his expectation on Sunday when Team India nerfed sporting - and political - rival Pakistan out of the feature race at Sepang.

Adam Khan had started the main event from 13th on the grid, the result of an understeer-plagued run in the earlier sprint race, made worse as his tyres deteriorated in the 40-degree heat, but had made a good start and appeared poised to claim a place in the top ten when 16-year old Indian driver Armaan Ebrahim ran into the back of the Team Pakistan car, turning it sharp left into the barriers.

Although Khan did his utmost to bring the car back to the pits for repair, it had sustained sufficient damage in the incident to strand the youngster by the roadside. Ebrahim managed to continue with a damaged nose after the contact, but was later shown the black flag and disqualified after receiving 'outside assistance' to resume after another spin.

"I got a good start and was running as high as eighth place, but, from the off, I was experiencing gear selector problems," Khan revealed later. "I lost a few places with that and was then hit from behind by India. I set myself a target of a top-ten finish this weekend and I'm so disappointed not to have achieved it."

The Super Nova-run team later revealed that its driver had also been battling the effects of food poisoning, making his efforts in the two races all the more meritorious, but giving Khan more reason to feel sick afterwards.

"Adam had been doing so well," commented Team Pakistan seatholder Arif Husain, "Together with the Zytek team, we'll investigate the gear selector problem that he was experiencing, but the forced retirement is a tragic way to end the weekend, and I feel bitterly disappointed for Pakistan."

 

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