A1 Team Lebanon expects improvements for qualifying in UK

A1 Team Lebanon expects improvements for qualifying in UK

02.05.2008: A1 Team Lebanon expects improvements for qualifying in UK

A1 Team Lebanon began the final weekend of A1GP racing at Brands Hatch today, with the opening sessions of practice at the Kent circuit. In the morning Khalil Beschir, driver for the team, was 15th fastest of the rookie and developing nations drivers.

This was his first experience of the track since the first season, one of A1GPís historic events, not only as the first ever A1GP race weekend, but also for Beschir putting the Series firmly on the map with a dramatic Ďflying through the airí accident, in which, thankfully, he was unharmed.

In the afternoon session the team recorded 22nd quickest lap, although Beschirís session was curtailed with an electrical problem. The Lebanese driver had been making steady progress, reacquainting himself with the track and undertaking preparations for the race weekend. These will continue tomorrow in the final morning practice session.

The Brands Hatch circuit is the venue that hosted the first A1GP race event in September 2005, kicking off the first season with a record audience of 70,000 fans trackside. Since that time the Series has travelled the world in three seasons of competition, with this finale bringing it to a conclusion at the historic British motorsport venue.

The team arrived in Kent earlier this week in preparation for the A1GP Sprint and Feature races with Beschir taking part in the pre-event PR activity, trying his hand at one of the traditional English sports, cricket.

As one of the members of the A1GP Allstars, playing against a Kent County Cricket team, the motor racing celebrities were narrowly beaten, but enjoyed this light hearted diversion from the serious business of racing.

Following this, Beschir travelled to Brands Hatch and spent the afternoon with the engineers, walking the circuit to have a close look at each challenge that this track presents. At each corner the drivers learn the characteristics of the track from the engineer and driver coach which assists their preparations for the weekend.

Beschir said of the sessions today, "Iím really pleased to be driving in this last race weekend of the season, although itís not easy as the only race driving Iíve done is Brno in Czech Republic in October last year and Durban, South Africa earlier this year.

Brands Hatch is a big challenge for me, but Iím taking it steady and building up my pace as the weekend progresses. It was unfortunate that we lost the last ten minutes of track time this afternoon as track time is so valuable for me, but Iím sure the team can sort it and weíll be out for practice tomorrow morning."

Trevor Bale, Team Manager, A1 Team Lebanon added, "This circuit is one of the most difficult on the calendar, and with many drivers already having experience here, itís a tough job for Khalil.

Heís had very little running in the A1GP car, while many other drivers have been in the race seat all season, so I think we all appreciate that it will take some time for Khalil to be closer to the pace."

The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport continues tomorrow with final practice and qualifying on Saturday, and the two races on Sunday, the Sprint race at 11.00am local time and the Feature race with a mandatory pit stop at 0p2.3m. 

 

- Alison Hill A1 Team Lebanon -  photo A1GP

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/a1-team-lebanon-uk-brands-hatch-qualifying-beschir-khalil-dramatic-accident---36875.html

02.05.2008 / MaP

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