A1 Team Lebanon endures hot and humid first daya on A1GP in Malaysia

22.11.2008: A1 Team Lebanon endures hot and humid first daya on A1GP in Malaysia

The Sepang circuit near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia presented new challenges for A1 Team Lebanon with the technically demanding track, the heat and high humidity testing the driver and car on the opening day of the third round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport.

Daniel Morad, representing the nation in his third weekend of competition, took to the track in the morning for the rookie and developing nation session, however a technical problem forced the team to return to the garage. The crew worked hard to locate the minor electrical issue and make the necessary repair but only completed three laps in the first part of the session.

With seven laps completed in the second part Morad produced sixth quickest lap overall. In the afternoon practice session Morad continued the work of the morning making up for lost time by putting in a strong performance, finishing the session 11th quickest.

Morad said of his sessions, "The morning set us back a little with the lack of track time, but we were on the pace very quickly today, so I think my preparations of playing the track on my PlayStation paid off! We were making changes in the right direction so I’m confident that we can move forward tomorrow."

A1 Team Lebanon Ambassador, Billy Karam, says of the team’s opening day performance, "We’re in the thick of the pack and less than a second from the pole time, so it’s been a solid start to the weekend. Daniel is showing that he has the pace and I know that the team will be evaluating the data and expect to improve on their performance tomorrow."

Luke Craft, Team Principal, adds, "We didn’t have the smooth start to the weekend that we always aim to have, but the crew were able to resolve the problem with minimal delay so we didn’t lose too much track time. Daniel showed his talent at learning tracks very quickly so we were on the pace, running in the top five for much of the session and mixing it with the front runners. We’re confident with the direction we’re taking with our set up and looking forward to tomorrow."

Reserve driver, Jimmy Auby, is also attending the event and before today’s track action got underway, he took time out to join other A1GP drivers for a visit to the world famous Kuala Gandah National Elephant Conservation Centre outside Kuala Lumpur. Drivers were given a rare opportunity, thanks to Tourism Malaysia, to ride an elephant in the jungle with the help of an elephant guide, or mahout, and help feed them.

Auby said of his experience, "I’ve never ridden an elephant before and hadn’t fed one either, but they were much friendlier than I thought they would be. It is good to see the work of organisations such as this which work so hard for such worthwhile causes. I’d prefer to be riding in a car than on an elephant, but I just have to be patient at the moment!"

The A1GP event in Malaysia continues tomorrow, Saturday, with a one hour morning practice session, an autograph session for fans at lunchtime and qualifying in the afternoon. Sunday is race day, with a 30 minute Sprint race and a 70 minutes Feature race. Fans will also be able to enjoy the colourful pageant of the traditional A1GP drivers parade.

 

-Alison Hill -  photo A1GP

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22.11.2008 /

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