Karthikeyan injured, doubtful for Monday’s race

February 24th, 2008 - 9:16 pm ICT by admin  

Durban, Feb 24 (IANS) India’s prospects in Monday’s A1GP race took a beating when Narain Karthikeyan’s wrist was injuired in an accident in tehfinal practice session Sunday and he was rendered doubtful for the race. Karthikeyan’s injured wrist brought Team India practice session to a temporary halt as the car was towed away. Karthikeyan was immediately moved to the medical center. The x-rays showed no broken bones but a very swollen and damaged tendon soft tissue around his wrist and the back of his hand.

Karthikeyan, however, in undeterred and has not given up hopes of coming out for the race tomorrow.

“The car was handling well. I pushed a little too hard and here there is no room for any errors. My hand is injured now but I am not giving up yet for tomorrow’s race. I will have to undergo some physiotherapy and will do as much as I can to ensure Team India come home with some points,” he said.

Karthikeyan was leading the grid of 22 other national teams in the final practice session. At an unfortunate turn, he pushed harder and braked a little late and the car barreled out of control and hit into the tyre wall injuring the Indian.

“I have been advised to not race tomorrow. The Feature race is much longer and it’s most unlikely I’ll be able to run in that. I might be able to drive for the Sprint though. It depends how my hand is tomorrow.”

The team decided that instead of sending the injured Narain out on all four sessions Sunday, they would run in only two. The first of which determines his position for the Sprint race and the other one that would determine his position for the Feature race.

Narain went out in QP1 pushing himself and the car to come out at a respectable 9th place in the sprint race with a lap time of 1:19.213 seconds. For QP2 of the Feature race qualifying session, Narain struggled against the pain in his wrist and with a lap time of 1:18.932 seconds - although an improvement from his previous time - found himself at 17th place.

A1 Team India put on a brave face and kept rookie driver Parthiv Sureshwaren on a stand-by for the race.

A1GP regulations do not permit Sureshwaren to start the race on Karthikeyan’s qualifying position. Parthiv would have to start the race at the back of the grid.

A1 Team India has a total of 28 points - standing 12th in the Championship.

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