A1 Team Lebanon goes the distance with Beschir return

A1 Team Lebanon goes the distance with Beschir return

15.10.2007: A1 Team Lebanon goes the distance with Beschir return

A1 Team Lebanon completed the second race weekend of the 2007/08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, with Khalil Beschir representing his country and bringing the car home in both races in Brno, Czech Republic. Finishing 22nd in the morning Sprint race, the team then prepared for the longer, two-stop Feature race, finishing this in 21st place at the chequered flag.

Beschir had his first taste of a Sprint race this season in the morning, lining up in 22nd for the rolling start. He coped well with a tight pack of A1GP cars racing through the first corner making up three places by the end of the opening lap. He stayed in 19th place through the mid-section of the race until dropping back one place in the closing stages, finally finishing 20th.

In the afternoon Beschir began his second race of the season with the 38 lap Feature event, and the race beginning with a standing start. Beschir was lined up along with the other nations from around the world, with the Lebanon car proudly sporting the flags of the Arab nations, as the only Arab team on the grid.

With ex-Formula One racer Alex Yoong in the Malaysia car behind him at the start, Beschir was unable to hold him off in the first lap and he slipped past, while Beschir passed USA to maintain position. An aggressive move by the USA driver a couple of laps later pushed Beschir off line and dropped him back a place to 22nd.

Lebanon pitted from this position on Lap 10, but when Beschir was making his way to the team’s pit box the car of A1 Team Mexico exited his pitbox and the two cars made contact, with Beschir an innocent victim of the Mexican driver’s mistake.

Fortunately for A1 Team Lebanon their car suffered only cosmetic damage and after a quick change of tyres, Beschir was back out on track, lying in 21st position. He continued to lap consistently through the mid-section of the race, pitting again late in the race for the second mandatory tyre change and rejoining in 21st position. He maintained this pace in the final section of the race to record his second finish of the season, in 21st place.

Beschir said after the races, "Our main focus was on completing two race distances, to give me the racing mileage that I lack compared to the other drivers in this Series. We achieved this, and, more importantly, we improved our pace throughout the weekend. I certainly need more experience in the car and more race distances to continue my learning curve, but this was a starting point which can be built on through the season."

Luke Craft, Team Principal, A1 Team Lebanon, added, "It’s been a tough weekend for Khalil, but he’s coped well, considering his comparative inexperience. He’s shown steady improvement with a steep learning curve, working with the new team and returning to racing after nearly a year, with only the limited testing opportunities available within A1GP to give him seat time in this car. The determination to succeed is within everyone at A1 Team Lebanon, so we’ll head on to Malaysia with the focus and commitment to perform as well as we can for Lebanon."

The A1GP Series has a break of six weeks, returning to the race track from 23-25 November at the impressive Sepang circuit in Malaysia, for the third race weekend on the 10 event schedule.


- Alison Hill -  photo A1GP

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15.10.2007 / MaP

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