A1 Team Lebanon celebrates superb drive to sixth place in A1GP

A1 Team Lebanon celebrates superb drive to sixth place in A1GP

22.02.2009: It could have been a script from a Hollywood blockbuster for A1 Team Lebanon this weekend. After battling major engine problems and technical issues which kept the team working late into each night of the race weekend, finally 18-year- old driver, Daniel

It could have been a script from a Hollywood blockbuster for A1 Team Lebanon this weekend. After battling major engine problems and technical issues which kept the team working late into each night of the race weekend, finally 18-year- old driver, Daniel Morad, was able to be a star, with a superb race from the back of the grid to sixth place in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport event in South Africa. .

A1 Team Lebanon celebrated their best ever finish in the A1GP series in today’s Feature race at the Kyalami circuit in Johannesburg. Watched by a large contingent of Lebanese fans, Morad and the Lebanese team certainly gave them plenty to cheer. Morad didn’t have the best of Feature race starts, as technical gremlins remained, but he quickly made up for this as he scythed his way through the field. Superb passes on India, Germany and Great Britain were applauded by the fans as Morad raced on to his points finish. His efforts were aided by two lightning quick pitstops from the A1 Team Lebanon crew.

Despite the return of a misfire in the closing laps, Morad was able to take the chequered flag in sixth place. Earlier in the day the Lebanon team lined up on the grid for the Sprint race. Morad had a lap of the track before lining up on the grid, the only opportunity for the team to check that the issues of the earlier Sprint race had been resolved, however on this lap he had another engine misfire.

The Ferrari engineers were able to re-programme the electronics and Morad was able to start the race, but after only one lap, in which Morad had gained an impressive five positions, he suffered a gear change problem and had to return to the pits.

The team quickly set to work to resolve the issue and Morad was then able to go back out on track. With just four laps of the race remaining, there was no chance of any improvement in finish position, the team could only use the race to check that the problems encountered had been solved. A stunning lap – 11th quickest -  by Morad proved that he had lost none of his determination or pace, despite finishing 20th.

Morad was delighted with his Feature race result saying,
“I had an anti-stall problem at the start, but it only took me three corners to catch up the pack. I was able to blitz through the field as the car was perfect. Overtaking was easy at first as I was able to brake later than the other cars. In the middle of the race the engine gave me a bit of a problem, then it was okay, until about 10 laps later when I felt it again. At the end it was very worrying. I was able to overtake Great Britain but then the car slowed and I thought we might not make it to the end, luckily we did.”

Tameem Auchi added his congratulations to the teamwork, saying
, “The guys have worked so hard this weekend with major challenges for them, so it is a superb result for everyone, particularly after the disappointing races we’ve had previously. Daniel put in a huge effort to have a fantastic pace in every session and in these two races. It was a pleasure to watch him racing today and we’re all delighted to be celebrating a strong top ten finish.”

 The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport will visit the Algarve for the sixth round of racing, with the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve hosting the series for the first time.

-  Alison Hill-photos A1GP
More photos on automobilsport.com under Photos Slideshows  and photos Ecards A1GP Series

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22.02.2009 / MaP

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