Solid performance for Lebanon in A1GP China

Solid performance for Lebanon in A1GP China

09.11.2008: Solid performance for Lebanon in A1GP China

A1 Team Lebanon completed a strong weekend of racing in Chengdu, China, at a technically demanding track, with Daniel Morad racing in only his second A1GP event. Lining up 13th for both the Sprint and Feature races and finishing 12th in the Sprint race and 13th in the Feature race. The Sprint race began with a rolling start and the field of nations streamed past the green flag at high speed, and through the first turn without incidents.

Morad held position and then gained a place on the second lap after a spin by the home nation, with the Chinese car dropping back as a result. The remainder of the race was uncharacteristically processional, with few nations trading places as the drivers focused on keeping their cars on the difficult track, with the frequent bumps adding to the pressure to race hard and clean.

After treacherous rain caused the opening round last month to start under a safety car this was the first standing start for the new A1GP Powered by Ferrari cars. Unfortunately the Netherlands car stalled on the grid, bringing out the safety car, with Lebanon lying in 13th place. Morad maintained position until the first round of pitstops, lying 14th after all the cars had made their stops.

The Lebanon driver was forced to defend hard from the Italian car behind him and drove maturely to keep his position. In the second round of stops the Lebanon crew worked quickly to change the tyres and put Morad back out on track, and their efforts were rewarded with a gain of one place, with the team lying in 13th position after all the nations had completed their stops.

A spin for France with 12 laps remaining brought out the safety car and closed up the field with Morad lying in 12th position. The safety car pitted and the race restarted with six laps remaining, Morad maintained position until the Chinese car overtook him using his 60bph from the PowerBoost. Morad was unable to defend his position as he had used all his PowerBoost opportunities which provide additional horsepower for overtaking manoeuvres. After 51 laps of racing the Lebanon car crossed the line in 13th position.

Morad said after the sprint race, "We only gained one place, but it was very difficult to pass, so I’m not too disappointed. After the Feature race he added, "Our results reflect the problems that we had earlier in the weekend. It was difficult to overtake here so qualifying position was important. We hadn’t had the time to focus on outright speed, having had technical issues, and starting in the midfield gave us a tough task. I’m disappointed that we weren’t able to score more points, but I think we’ve learnt a considerable amount and we’ll be able to put this to good use in Sepang."

Tameem Auchi said of the weekend, "I know the team’s efforts to develop performance were hampered by the technical issues they suffered after the accident in Zandvoort and a major car rebuild. Everyone worked very hard and we’ve seen a step forward with the team in only two race weekends. Daniel drove with a strong pace and great maturity, and I think it won’t be long before we’re back in the points."

Billy Karam, A1 Team Lebanon Ambassador concluded, "It’s been a very tough weekend for the Lebanon crew and Daniel. When you have to divert your efforts from focusing on pace to resolve problems such as the fuel pressure ones that we’ve had this weekend it makes it very difficult to deliver the results we’re aiming for. However the strength of the team and Daniel’s efforts brought us two solid races and we can build on this for the next round in Malaysia."

The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport moves on to Malaysia for the third round of the 2008/09 Series.

One of only two venues that has hosted an A1GP event every season, the Sepang circuit close to Kuala Lumpur will welcome the 20 nations for another exciting A1GP race event.


- Alison Hill - photos A1GP
More photos on under PHOTOS - A1GP Series


09.11.2008 / MaP

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