F3 Basil Shaaban set for Oschersleben challenge
2009 FORMULA 3 EURO SERIES
Oschersleben, rounds 9 and 10 – July 31st-August 2nd
For immediate release
Thursday, July 30th 2009
ARAB WORLD’S BASIL SHAABAN SET FOR CRUCIAL OSCHERSLEBEN CHALLENGE
· Shell-backed driver promotes his Road Safety tour in Lebanon
· Shaaban aware of the risks and dangers of formula motor sport
ABU DHABI (UAE): Abu Dhabi-raised Lebanese Formula 3 driver, Basil Shaaban, heads back to Germany this weekend to tackle the ninth and 10th rounds of the 2009 F3 Euro Series at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben.
The Prema Powerteam driver has tested at the remote circuit, south-west of Magdeburg, on several occasions with his previous F3 team, although he admits that other drivers in the championship will also be familiar with the 3.696km circuit.
“It is a circuit that hides some unique driving and technical challenges,” admits Shaaban. “It is not the most difficult of circuits, but there are some challenging high-speed corner complexes that require commitment and absolute precision. We will probably run a medium-high down force set-up to suit. The first corner is also very tight and this will require vigilance on the first lap of the two races on Saturday and Sunday.”
Shaaban was disappointed with his recent fortunes at the Zandvoort circuit, but stresses that it was a critical part of his learning curve in terms of driving and psychological perspectives. “The setbacks I faced taught me more about how to regain confidence in a difficult-handling car, particularly when such difficulty leads to more than one identical exit from the circuit.
“It also showed me in which areas I can sometimes give lap time away when I lose confidence. With my improved self-knowledge, I cannot wait to get back into the challenge with my team and a fresh start on Friday morning.”
Motor racing has been in the news for all the wrong reasons in the last two weeks, with the death of British youngster Henry Surtees in a F2 accident and the serious F1 incident involving Felipe Massa. “These two incidents certainly serve as a reminder of the risks we take in formula motor sport,” admits Shaaban.
“We are all aware of the potential danger and we take precautions to minimise the risks. We are very confident in the safety technology and procedures implemented by the FIA and the risk-factor becomes one of the mental barriers that we conquer in order to achieve success. Felipe appears to be in the process of making a recovery and that shows the effectiveness of the new generation of F1 helmets that we are obliged to use ourselves in the F3 Euro Series.”
Shaaban has been busy in various public relations and road safety commitments since the Zandvoort meeting two weeks ago. The Arab world’s leading F3 driver spent six days in Lebanon, taking part in a successful PR campaign and carrying out multiple interviews with television, radio and print media.
“I was also laying the groundwork for my intended youth-directed Road Safety tour in Lebanon in the autumn,” enthuses Shaaban. “I had the honour of meeting Lebanon’s Minister of Education, Bahia Hariri, who gave her full support to my plans for advancing road safety in Lebanon. The meeting culminated in my visit to one of the Hariri Foundation summer camps in Saida, south of Beirut, where I had the pleasure of bringing my Road Safety awareness messages to Lebanese children for the first time.”
Frenchman Jules Bianchi currently leads the F3 Euro Series by 17 points from Christian Vietoris after taking a clean sweep of pole position points and outright wins in both the recent Zandvoort races in Holland.
The current lap record for the German circuit is held by Lewis Hamilton with a lap of 1m 19.183s, but Shaaban heads to Germany this weekend determined to reach the top eight and a points-scoring finish.
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