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Karthikeyan disappoints in A1GP Malaysia qualifying

Source: PTI
November 24, 2007 20:19 IST
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A brand new engine hardly made a difference to A1 Team India's fortunes as Narain Karthikeyan qualified 14th for the Sprint race and 11th for the Feature race of A1GP Malaysia to be held on Sunday.

"I was hoping to qualify better as I know the track well. I am going to drive my heart out to get great finishes and collect points for my team and my country," Karthikeyan said after the qualifying sessions on Saturday.

The overheating problems experienced by the team on Friday were overcome with the installation of the brand new engine supplied by Zytek.

The team also ran with new tyres and Karthikeyan got a better feel as the tyres got older. In the qualifying lap for the feature race, Karthikeyan clocked 1:50.700 seconds, which placed him in 11th position - 1.697 seconds behind A1 Team Switzerland's Neel Jani.

The team ran on the same tyres for the second qualifying session for the Sprint race and Narain's pace improved, bringing him to 1:50.543 seconds - but all the teams showed improved timings, leaving Karthikeyan 14th.

Meanwhile, Jani continued his magnificent form around the Sepang circuit, setting the quickest lap during the first qualifying segment and going on to better it in the second to snatch pole position for the Sprint race from A1 Team France, demoting Loic Duval to second on the grid.

Having secured pole position for the Sprint race, Jani stamped his authority on the weekend by going on to take pole for the Feature race, recording an outstanding lap of 1:47.648 seconds in the closing minutes of the session, almost a second quicker than Britain's Oliver Jarvis, who will line up alongside him on the front row.

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