Lebanon despair in Algarve

Lebanon despair in Algarve

14.04.2009: The two races of the Vodafone A1GP, Algarve event today did not live up to expectations for A1 Team Lebanon and showed just how cruel motor racing can be. A strong qualifying effort yesterday had put the team fourth on the grid

The two races of the Vodafone A1GP, Algarve event today did not live up to expectations for A1 Team Lebanon and showed just how cruel motor racing can be. A strong qualifying effort yesterday had put the team fourth on the grid for the Sprint race and 15th for the Feature race. However, it was disappointment and dismay for the team and driver, Daniel Morad at this sixth round of the A1GP series. The team were an innocent victim of an accident at the start of the Sprint race and picked up a puncture soon after the start of the Feature race, with both incidents forcing Morad into retirement.

The Sprint race start produced plenty of drama, but unfortunately Lebanon was caught up in this and unable to avoid an accident. As the cars raced through the first few corners the New Zealand car tried to pass on the outside, cutting across Morad and clipping his front wheel. With some damage Morad continued on, aiming to reach the pits for repairs, however before he was able to do this a charging German car attempted to pass around the outside. Morad’s damage left him unable to move out of the way and as the German car fell off the track, the Lebanese car was taken with it.

“Disappointed is an understatement,” said Morad after the Sprint race. “We should have been on the podium in that race but we weren’t given the opportunity to prove ourselves. It was all over before we could get racing.”

The Feature race drama started before the green flag with polesitter Netherlands suffering an electrical fire on the warm up lap. The race started without him and in the scrum of the first few corners once again Morad was caught up in the fight for positions, picking up a puncture which threw out the handling of the car, ending up with the Lebanon car skating over the gravel. Sadly he was unable to make it back to the pits for a new tyre and had to retire from the race.

Morad said after his puncture,
“It was looking good yesterday, but it all turned the wrong way today. I didn’t have the chance to show our sponsors and guests the pace we have and our ability to race at the front as we know we can do. We’re running out of races now, so we’ll need to nail it at Brands Hatch.”

Tameem Auchi, Seat Holder, A1 Team Lebanon added,
“We’re showing good pace during the practice sessions and continue to make improvements in qualifying, yet this weekend it did not translate into results. I know that the team will keep up their strength and put this behind them, they’ll stay positive and be determined to make amends at the next event.”

The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport 2008/09 continues with the seventh round of the Series in three weeks’ time. The next stop is Brands Hatch circuit in Kent, UK, with the event taking place from 1-3 May.

- Alison Hill,  photo A1GP-

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/a1-team-lebanon-algarve-despair-tameem-auchi-seat-holder-morad-daniel---61548.html

14.04.2009 / MaP

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