Best finish of season so far for A1 Team Lebanon

Best finish of season so far for A1 Team Lebanon

16.12.2007: Best finish of season so far for A1 Team Lebanon

A1 Team Lebanon crept closer to a top ten points finish in Zhuhai, China at the fourth round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport today. A 13th place finish in the Feature race after a retirement in the Sprint race were the spoils for the battling Lebanese car in the two events. The Sprint race rolling start saw the pack of A1GP cars rush down to the first corner with five cars abreast on the front straight as the drivers battled for position.

Alajajian was in the thick of the field, but his worst fears were met when three cars ahead clashed, blocking the track and forcing the young Australian-Lebanese driver to take avoiding action. He picked his way through, but was hit from behind, punting him off the track and into a spin, so that he was stuck in the gravel and unable to continue the race.

"It was a shame that we didn’t get the Sprint race distance under our belt," said Alajajian, "but we just got caught up with other driver’s accidents; there was just nothing we could do about it. It makes it a bit tougher for the Feature race, not having the data from a long run, and particularly tyre wear and brake pad integrity. We’ll try and do better in the Feature event."

The start of the Feature race was another clamour of cars all pushing hard to reach the first corner first. The Lebanon car was jostling for position and gaining ground in the opening lap and with others falling victim to the battle, Alajajian emerged in 13th place after the first lap had been completed. The first pitstop saw a swapping of positions up and down the grid, with the Lebanese car losing out and dropping to 12th.

He kept pushing on and lapping consistently, while capitalising on other cars misfortunes and moving up to 10th by lap 15. A small error with a slide off the track ended with a spin across the grass as the race progressed. Although losing valuable time, he recovered to lie in 13th place and maintained this position through much of the race. Alajajian said after the race, "I’ve learned from this race and that’s been a big positive.

Coping with excessive tyre degradation and hard brakes, as well as changing my driving style to suit the conditions have all been new learning experiences in this race. We were close to reaching our goal of a top ten finish and I’m sorry that I couldn’t help make that happen today, but we’re getting closer."

 

Luke Craft, A1 Team Lebanon Team Principal, reviewed the day saying, "We weren’t given a chance to show our improvement in the first of the day’s races and we missed not giving Chris more track time ahead of the main Feature race, but he did drive well. In the second race, it was running wide on one corner, a small error, which had bigger consequences as it pushed us out of a points- paying finish.

That’s how tough and close A1GP racing is. We’re definitely starting to knock on the door of that elusive top ten position and we’re feeling very positive as we head to the Southern Hemisphere in the New Year."

 

The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport takes a seasonal break, while the A1GP cars travel by sea freight to New Zealand for the fifth round of the Series in Taupo, located in the centre of the island outpost. 

 

- Alison Hill -

Photos are on automobilsport.com under PHOTOS - A1GP SERIES

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/a1-team-lebanon-best-finish-chris-alajajian-taupo-new-zealand---31146.html

16.12.2007 / MaP

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