F3 Basil Shaaban heads to the Lausitzring in Germany for F3 Euro Series
2009 FORMULA 3 EURO SERIES
Lausitzring - Germany, rounds 3 and 4 - May 29th-31st
For immediate release
Thursday, May 28th 2009
LEBANON’S BASIL SHAABAN AIMS TO BUILD UPON HOCKENHEIM SUCCESS
· Shell-backed star heads to Lausitzring for second F3 Euro Series meeting
· Shaaban keen to improve on sixth qualifying position with new Prema team
LAUSITZRING (Germany): The Arab world's leading Formula 3 racing driver, Basil Shaaban, will be aiming to build upon a promising start to his 2009 F3 Euro Series campaign, when he lines up in his Shell-backed Prema Motorsport-run Dallara Mercedes-Benz F308/9 for the third and fourth races of the season at the 3.478km Lausitzring, near Brandenburg in Germany, this weekend.
The Lebanese driver earned his best ever qualification – sixth place - for the opening race at Hockenheim in Germany two weekends ago and is confident that he can improve upon his performance when the prestigious stepping-stone series to Formula One resumes with the first practice session tomorrow morning (Friday, May 28th).
“It was great for my confidence and motivation to do so well at Hockenheim, particularly after several challenging seasons,” said Shaaban. “It proved that with the right focus, work-ethic and team around me, I can be competitive at such a high level of motor sport. I also learned more about maximising the car’s potential, like improving how to adapt to the car’s changing behaviour for the races, as the different types of rubber are laid down on the circuit across the weekend.”
Shaaban’s Prema Motorsport team mate Stefano Coletti leads the F3 Euro Series after the opening two races and that has given Shaaban even more confidence for Saturday’s and Sunday’s third and fourth rounds of the prestigious series.
“The fact that Stefano leads the Drivers’ Championship is a great boost for our team and a great motivator for us to raise our efforts across the board. It shows that not only do we have a strong technical package, but also I have a strong team-mate, who will push Matteo (Chinosi) and myself to a higher performance level. This was one of my reasons for joining Prema in 2009 and my prediction has already been justified.”
Shaaban was taken out of contention on the first race lap at Hockenheim by an errant Atte Mustonen of Finland and eventually finished 23rd and 13th overall in the first two races, but has fond memories of his previous visits to the Lausitzring and is confident of progressing this weekend.
“This was the first circuit where I tested before my debut season in the 2007 F3 Euro Series,” he adds. “Since then I have tested here on four occasions. I know the circuit quite well, particularly the technical chicanes, which lead on to two of the three longest straights. Getting these right is crucial for a quick lap time.”
Testing is strictly policed in the F3 Euro Series and is limited to 10 days during the in-season. “We’ve already completed six and are saving the remaining four days for key phases of the championship,” insists Shaaban. “Therefore, the first time I will get into my car since Hockenheim will be the first practice on Friday morning and with the weekend’s weather forecast indicating rain, it should be interesting.”
The Arab world’s leading F3 driver has been continuing his physical and mental training since the opening race meeting of the new season. “I have also been trying to get the F3 Euro Series broadcast in the Middle East, completing my 2009 sponsorship budget and structuring my Road Safety campaign plans for the remainder of the year.”
After Friday’s opening practice session, Saturday (May 30th) will feature Pole Position qualifying and the third race of the season over 24 laps of the 3.478km circuit. Sunday’s fourth race will be run over 32 laps - the F3 lap record for the German circuit is held by current Williams F1 driver Kazuki Nakajima, from Japan, with a time of 1m 15.576s.
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