Top Ten double for A1 Team Lebanon

Top Ten double for A1 Team Lebanon

24.01.2009: The Lebanon flag flew over Taupo today, not only for a strong qualifying performance by Daniel Morad and A1 Team Lebanon, but also with a group of super-fans, who had travelled from Australia to support the team.

The Lebanon flag flew over Taupo today, not only for a strong qualifying performance by Daniel Morad and A1 Team Lebanon, but also with a group of super-fans, who had travelled from Australia to support the team.

Millions of people around the globe will have seen these committed Lebanese supporters waving the nation’s national flag today, as the TV cameras captured the essence of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. However, the team’s strong qualifying results could have been even better if Morad hadn’t been blocked by the Monaco car in one run and slowed by a spinning China car ahead of him on his final run.

 Without these two incidents the team and Morad would have been celebrating two top five grid positions. After a final practice hour in the morning, the Lebanon team with driver Morad were back out for qualifying this afternoon. The young driver took 10th place for the Sprint race grid and ninth place for the main Feature race.

The Lebanese entry, after an outstanding performance from Morad in practice yesterday, had the luxury of concentrating on race strategy rather than outright speed in the final practice session. The team used the time to run on different fuel loads to gauge their setup at different points in the race. The quickest lap put them ninth on the timesheets, but with at least three cars putting on new tyres, the team were confident that they were one of the top five nations. 

 An excellent first segment of qualifying put Morad in a provisional fifth place, and with his second session he put in another consistent lap to finish tenth fastest overall, his grid position for the Sprint race. In the second two segments Morad put in another two consistent lap times, to take ninth place for the Feature race grid.

Morad said after the session,
“Those results don’t really show our true pace. We should be about fifth but I just have bad luck with cars spinning in front of me and another car blocking me. There’s no point in dishing out any penalties as these cars are behind me anyway, can’t change things, so I just have to look forwards to tomorrow.

” Patrick Moore, Team Manager for A1 Team Lebanon added,
“Our grid positions are very respectable, but we’re still a bit disappointed as the sector times of Daniel’s lap before they were ruined by other drivers suggest that he was able to run within the top five. But this knowledge gives us the comfort of knowing we have the pace for two strong races tomorrow.”

The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, New Zealand race weekend concludes tomorrow with the Sprint and Feature races. The action begins in the morning with the short distance of twenty five minutes of racing. A colourful drivers parade and opening ceremony will entertain the fans prior to the main Feature race, in the afternoon, which features two mandatory tyre change pitstops. The field of nations will line up at 11am for the Sprint race and 3pm for the Feature race.

- Alison Hill - photo A1GP


24.01.2009 / MaP

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