A1 Team Lebanon takes to the Chinese track

07.11.2008: A1 Team Lebanon takes to the Chinese track

A1 Team Lebanon resumed their campaign of racing in the fourth season of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in Chengdu, China today. Driver Daniel Morad returned to the cockpit of the new A1GP Powered by Ferrari car, aiming to build on the momentum of Zandvoort, the first round of the Series, where the young Canadian-Lebanese driver scored the team’s first championship points.

In the morning rookie and developing nation session, a practice hour reserved for young, up and coming racing talent, Morad posted 10th fastest lap time. The team used this practice period initially to check over the car after the post-zandvoort accident rebuild work. Following this session the engineering team worked on a base set up and plan for the afternoon session.

However when Morad went out on track a number of minor technical problems hampered the team’s efforts to focus on the set up and the time was used to resolve these issues and ensure the reliability of the car for the remainder of the weekend. With a further practice session tomorrow morning before qualifying the team is confident that they will be able improve on the performance for tomorrow.

Morad said at the conclusion of the day, "We’ve had a lot of problems, not so much in the rookie session, I was taking it easy to learn the track and make sure everything was okay with the car after the rebuild. But this afternoon we had an engine misfire and had a few problems with the car, so we’re just getting these out of the system.

I’d prefer that any problems happened today and that they’re all fixed for the race rather than these happen later in the weekend. On the last run, we had two laps with the engine not having a misfire and we picked up around a second, even on old tyres. I reckon there’s another half a second as well as we weren’t really focusing on performance. Once we’re sorted I think we’ll be in a good position.

Patrick Moore, Team Manager added, "We didn’t make as much progress today as we would have liked, due to the technical issues we had, and we certainly weren’t alone with a number of other teams also suffering minor setbacks. I think these are just initial technical teething problems following the car rebuild after the Zandvoort accident and we expect to have a much better final practice session and a strong qualifying."

Billy Karam, A1 Team Lebanon Ambassador, said of the opening day of competition, "The team has had its challenges today with the technical problems, but this is not unexpected after a major rebuild. I know everyone has worked hard to repair the car, ready to make progress tomorrow. There’s still another practice session before the qualifying, so the team can fine tune the set up for this and I’m confident that we’ll see an improvement in Daniel’s lap times tomorrow.

Earlier in the weekend Morad and reserve driver, Jimmy Auby, took time out to train with the local football team, the Chengdu Blades the professional football team competing in the Chinese Super League. After working up a bit of a sweat, the A1GP drivers took on the professional players in a friendly game eventually losing on penalties after a 5-5 draw. Morad opened the scoring for the A1GP drivers with the first goal of the match.

 

- Alison Hill -

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/a1-team-lebanon-chinese-track-chengdu-daniel-morad-jimmy-auby---47178.html

07.11.2008 / MaP

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