Start for A1 Team Lebanon in Taupo

Start for A1 Team Lebanon in Taupo

18.01.2008: Start for A1 Team Lebanon in Taupo

A1 Team Lebanon has arrived in New Zealand to continue its campaign in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport and today took part in the first day of practice ahead of Sunday’s races today. The event marks the ground breaking introduction of greener fuel into the Series, with all the A1GP cars running on a 30% biofuel mix. It is the first truly global series to take this step as part of a wider THINK Greener Racing environmental policy.

Chris Alajajian and Khalil Beschir, the regular drivers for A1 Team Lebanon, are both in Taupo, with Alajajian selected to represent the nation this weekend in New Zealand. Eligible to take part in all the sessions, including the early Friday rookie practice session, Alajajian has previous experience of the circuit, although this was prior to the extensive circuit changes.

The team fitted a new engine in the run up to today’s sessions, which required Alajajian to complete a series of installation laps before he was able to run at full power. Once this had been completed the team began work on their development programme and Alajajian learned their circuit, making setup changes as data was collected in the session.

The team had a strong start to the weekend with Alajajian posting ninth quickest time in the morning. In the first part of the session he was seventh quickest and in the second session, with lap times dropping, eighth fastest. In the afternoon the team continued to work with Alajajian to make improvements to the car and he was posting consistent lap times in the early part of the session.

Brake issues then caused Alajajian to end up in the dust off the track and he had to limp back to the pits for repairs. This lost him around 25 minutes of track time, but he was able to return to the circuit in the closing stages and put more laps in. As the chequered flag fell to mark the end of the practice session the Lebanese team were 16th fastest.

Alajajian said of his opening practice day, "I think we’ve had a fairly good day today, although not without a little drama with the brakes. This lost us quite a bit of the afternoon session which was a shame, but I think considering this, we can be satisfied with 16th today. I think there’s certainly room to make further improvements and we didn’t make all the changes we wanted to, so we’ll do this tomorrow morning, and then look for a strong qualifying in the afternoon."

Marcus Koch, Chief Engineer, A1 Team Lebanon added, "Chris had one of the best starts to the weekend this morning and really got to grips with the track quickly. He carried this momentum through to the afternoon, but the brake problems cut this short and although we were able to get back out, losing nearly half the session didn’t help us. We’ll be back on the pace tomorrow and are confident that we can make further improvements.

The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, New Zealand continues tomorrow with final practice and qualifying, ahead of the two races on Sunday.

Follow the progress of A1 Team Lebanon at the team’s website, www.A1TeamLebanon.com  and for all the A1GP Series news on www.A1GP.com  

 

- Alison Hill - photo A1GP

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/a1gp-a1-team-lebanon-taupo-chris-alajajian-think-greener-racing-environmental-policy---31890.html

18.01.2008 / MaP

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