Promise and potential turns to dust for A1 Team Lebanon

Promise and potential turns to dust for A1 Team Lebanon

25.01.2009: All the promise shown by A1 Team Lebanon turned to disaster today in Taupo, New Zealand. Daniel Morad had been one of the top performing drivers in each session ahead of the two races, but it turned sour in the Sprint race with a mechanical failure, compo

All the promise shown by A1 Team Lebanon turned to disaster today in Taupo, New Zealand. Daniel Morad had been one of the top performing drivers in each session ahead of the two races, but it turned sour in the Sprint race with a mechanical failure, compounded by retirement from the Feature.

 In the fourth event of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, Morad made a strong start in the Sprint race, defending hard from charging cars behind to retain tenth place at the end of the opening lap. He was running on the leaders pace as the race laps counted down, pitting for new tyres with a blistering stop from the Lebanon crew to put him back on track in the same position.

Sadly a suspension component failure prematurely ended Morad’s race, with the 18-year-old having to return to the team’s garage for the team and retiring from the race. Morad’s luck didn’t get any better in the Feature race. An anti-stall problem prevented the Lebanon car from making a clean start, leaving him right at the back. With a strong pace Morad was keen to make up ground.

After passing the Italian car he closed quickly on the New Zealand car. When New Zealand ran wide, Morad grabbed the chance to overtake. Unfortunately New Zealand didn’t see Morad, turning into the corner and into the Lebanon car, causing irreparable damage. Morad had no option but to limp back to the pits and retire from the race.

Morad explains,
“I was very disappointed to have a component failure in the Sprint race, but that’s just what can happen in racing, there’s nothing you can do about that one. Racing at 270 kph with the streering wheel on a 90 degree lock could be frightening, but I’m a racing driver and live for that stuff. There was no point in continuing though as I would have just ended up in a barrier.

The Feature race was a different story. My anti-stall kicked in without warning, even though I was on the throttle and hadn’t lifted off at all. I don’t think we’re the only team that has suffered with this, so it seems to be a problem that A1GP is looking at. Once I got going I started to catch the cars ahead, but ended up being shunted out of the race by New Zealand who just didn’t see me. I’m incredibly disappointed.”

Tameem Auchi, Seatholder for A1 Team Lebanon summed up by saying,
“Motor racing can be cruel sometimes and this was one of those weekends for us. Daniel had such a great start to the weekend and in every session in the lead up to the races, but today things just didn’t go our way.  The Sprint race technical failure was no one’s fault, it’s something that can happen when new cars are introduced and haven’t had much running.

“In the Feature race the problem Daniel had getting off the grid was compounded by New Zealand just not giving him the room. It was a racing incident but with huge repercussions. A disappointing end to what had been such a promising weekend. “

The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport moves on to South Africa next month for the fifth event of the season. Kyalami circuit in Johannesburg will host the A1GP Series for the first time, following three successful events at a street circuit in Durban. The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, Gauteng takes place from 20-22 February. 


- Alison Hill -  photo A1GP
More photos on automobilsport.com under PHOTOS SLIDESHOW and under PHOTOS Ecards A1GP

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25.01.2009 / MaP

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