Strong qualifying for A1 Team Lebanon in Zhuhai

Strong qualifying for A1 Team Lebanon in Zhuhai

15.12.2007: Strong qualifying for A1 Team Lebanon in Zhuhai

A1 Team Lebanon completed final preparations for the first Zhuhai race of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport today. Khalil Beschir drove in the first official practice session yesterday, handing over to his team mate, Chris Alajajian, who ran the Lebanese car in the final practice session and in afternoon qualifying.

After the four segments of A1GP qualifying were completed the 21-year-old Australian-Lebanese driver produced his best qualifying performance in A1GP, with a 15th place start for the Feature race and 20th place for the Sprint race. The morning session was used by the team to make final preparations for afternoon qualifying. Alajajian, driving the A1GP car for the first time at this venue was behind the wheel and worked with the team to develop its performance ahead of the grid-setting session.

The first segment of the qualifying session produced 20th fastest time for Lebanon. Alajajian then improved on his lap time, as did many others, so he remained in 20th, the position he will take for the Sprint race. In the second two segments Alajajian produced the 15th fastest lap of the field, an excellent effort from the young driver. A1 Team Lebanon will line up in this position for the Feature race tomorrow.

Alajajian said after qualifying, "Starting within the top fifteen is a better position for us than at the previous round, so I’m pleased we’ve made some progress. I was a bit disappointed with my Sprint race qualifying laps, particularly for the start of the race when there are so many cars ahead and the potential to be caught up with other people’s incidents is higher.

We won’t let that change our outlook which will be to get the best start we can and then try to make progress through the field over the course of the race. One lap qualifying is still a relatively new experience for me and I’m still learning each time out. Racing is what counts, so we’ll be focusing on this now for tomorrow."

 

Marcus Koch, Chief Engineer, A1 Team Lebanon concluded of the day’s running, "Chris started on the back foot, with most of the other drivers already having run in two sessions of practice, so he had some ground to gain. Under these circumstances he coped extremely well, finishing 18th quickest in the morning and then putting in four consistent lap times and improving as he gained experience.

 The A1GP races are always highly unpredictable, so we’ll be aiming to improve on our grid positions in the two races tomorrow.

The final day of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, Zhuhai, China, starts tomorrow. The 22 nations will compete for the pride of their country, battling hard in the two races that form the A1GP race weekend. The Sprint race, a 20 minutes straight fight from lights to flag, precedes a 70 minutes Feature race. This is a mix of driver skill and teamwork, with two pitstops to add spice and an extra dimension to the racing.

Viewers in the Middle East can watch A1GP racing live on Al Jazeera Sport. Ends.

 

- Alison Hill - photo A1GP

photos on automobilsport.com under PHOTOS - A1GP Series

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15.12.2007 / MaP

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