Lebanon showing improvement in qualifying

Lebanon showing improvement in qualifying

19.01.2008: Lebanon showing improvement in qualifying

A1 Team Lebanon continued preparations for the fifth round of the 2007/08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in Taupo, New Zealand today. The team will line up in 17th place for tomorrow’s Sprint race and 16th for the main Feature race.

With windy weather conditions kicking up plenty of dust, the field of A1GP drivers took to the track for a final practice session this morning. Alajajian and the Lebanon team were hot off the mark to gain as much track time as possible in preparation for the afternoon qualifying session. The demanding track, with 13 turns over the 3.5km lap distance is a test for driver and car.

The tight corners have heavy G-forces and require top level driver fitness, and the narrow Taupo track features dusty runoffs, needs precise driving and a well balanced car to get the most from it. Alajajian drove consistently to finish 20th fastest after the hour and the team then started work on final preparations for qualifying.

The first two parts of the qualifying session set the Sprint race grid and the second two parts determine the order that the cars line up in for the Feature race. In the first of the team’s flying laps Alajajian was caught out at turn nine, with a wheel off the track putting him into a spin. Undeterred, the team quickly made repairs to the car and were able to have it back out for the second segment, in which Alajajian posted 17th quickest time to line up in this position on the Sprint race grid. In the final two segments he drove another two consistent laps, and 16th fastest lap, to line up in this position for the Feature race.

Alajajian said of the day, "It was a tough session, with the high winds and a very dusty track which makes it very slippery. I messed up my first run but thankfully the guys did a great job to get me back out for the next lap. Of course I’d like us to be further up the grid, but we’re showing more consistency and creeping forwards."

Trevor Bale, Team Manager for the Lebanon team adds, "Overall Chris has coped well in difficult circumstances. It’s not an easy track to master, and the track conditions added an extra challenge, with little room for error, but he put in two solid laps and I think we’re starting to see improvements that we need. This track doesn’t offer much potential for overtaking, so we’ll need to benefit from other drivers mistakes and stay on the track if we’re to produce good finishes."

 

The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, New Zealand race weekend concludes tomorrow with the finale of the weekend, the Sprint and Feature races. The action begins in the morning with the lights to flag dash of twenty minutes racing.

A colourful drivers parade and opening ceremony will entertain the fans prior to the main Feature race, which features two mandatory tyre change pitstops. The 22 nations will line up at 11am for the Sprint race and 3pm for the Feature race

 

- Alison Hill -

photos will be on automobilsport.com under PHOTOS - VIDEOS - A1GP SERIES

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19.01.2008 / MaP

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