A1GP: Khan eager to try out NZ circuit

By Andy Darley

CalendarThursday, January 17th, 2008

 
 

Team Pakistan will be back in action in New Zealand this weekend for the fifth round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport.

Its racing return follows a five-week break over the New Year period and marks the half-way point in the A1GP calendar.

And now the team is raring to compete against the 21 other nations from around the globe who will be taking part.

Having previously raced for A1 Team Pakistan in the first season of A1GP and then missed out on season two, driver Adam Khan will make his first visit to Taupo this weekend.

Khan, a British racing driver of Pakistani descent from Bridlington in Yorkshire, who previously competed with great success in F3, said that he could not wait to get back into the car.

His morale will no doubt also have been boosted by the announcement this week that he is to partner Red Bull junior driver Sebastien Buemi in the inaugural GP2 Asia Championship, driving for Trust Team Arden.

He said of that development: “This drive is a massive boost for my career and having tested with the team previously I am delighted to have the chance to race with Trust Team Arden in GP2 Asia this year. I look forward to working with Sebastien whom I am sure I will learn a great deal from.”

Team principal Christian Horner added: “Adam Khan, whilst still relatively new to the sport, has made considerable progress during the past 12 months since he first tested for the team at the end of 2006.”

On the prospect of getting back into the Team Pakistan car, Khan said: “It seems a long time since our last race in China. Although the break has given me a great opportunity to catch up with friends and family and importantly continue work on my fitness, nothing compares to the thrill of being at the race track.

“Again, like three of the four previous rounds, Taupo will be a new experience for me. While many of other drivers raced here last year, I’ll get my first taste of the circuit on Friday afternoon, but with the team’s help I’m confident that we will be up to speed quickly.”

A1GP became the largest international series to visit Taupo in January 2007, when the teams arrived at what was essentially a brand new track.

Having undergone a $12.5 million face-lift, the circuit was transformed from a modest club circuit to a fantastic racing facility built to the standards required by the A1GP series.

The New Year will also see a new development for the A1GP cars. The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport will become the first global racing series to race on a mixture of 30 per cent bio-fuel mix this weekend, as part of A1GP’s Think Greener Racing campaign.

A1 Team Pakistan’s Arif Husain said: “The entire team is eager to get the second half of the season underway now, following a prolonged period off-track.

“Adam will be working with a new technical team from this race, so this weekend will be something of a learning curve, but I’m sure everyone will be pulling together to be on form as quickly as possible.”

The team will be on track for practice on Friday 18 January, before the final practice and qualifying on Saturday afternoon.

The session starts at 1415 local time (0115 GMT) with Sunday’s 20-minute sprint race starting at 1100 local time (Saturday 2200 GMT) and the 70-minute feature race starting at 1500 local time (0200 GMT).

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