F3 Basil Shaaban heads to Brands Hatch for F3 Euro Series races
2009 FORMULA 3 EURO SERIES
Brands Hatch, rounds 13 and 14– September 5th-6th
For immediate release
Thursday, September 3rd, 2009
ARAB WORLD’S BASIL SHAABAN HEADS TO BRANDS HATCH IN ENGLAND FOR F3 EURO SERIES CHALLENGE
· Californian vacation leaves Shell-backed Lebanese driver raring to go
· Frenchman Jules Bianchi takes 25-point F3 Euro Series lead to the UK
ABU DHABI (UAE): Abu Dhabi-raised Lebanese Formula 3 driver, Basil Shaaban, will have his shortest journey of the season from his Oxford home in England to Brands Hatch for the 13th and 14th rounds of the F3 Euro Series this weekend.
The Arab world’s leading F3 driver has just returned to Europe from a two-week summer vacation in California and the break was a fantastic opportunity for Shaaban to recharge his batteries and prepare for this weekend’s two races on the demanding English circuit.
“It was great to spend two weeks in the warm California sunshine, vacationing with my whole family,” said the Shell-backed Prema Powerteam driver. “We’re only able to get together once or twice a year, so I really cherish the time we spend with each other. It was a good opportunity to get away from the usual season routine, to reflect on the first six race meetings of the season and step up the approach for the last four.”
Shaaban admits that the ‘Indy’ configuration of the five-corner, 1.929km Brands Hatch circuit makes it the shortest track in the F3 Euro Series calendar. But the Lebanese is looking forward to taking to the track for the first time on Friday (tomorrow) in his Dallara Mercedes-Benz F308/309.
“Four of the circuit’s five corners are unique and technical and require a specific approach. With a 41 to 42-second lap time in dry conditions, this means that each tenth will be worth two or three positions in qualifying. Maximum attack and accuracy is as important here as anywhere.”
Basil admits that the Kent circuit has some special and historic corners. “Take turn one, the infamous Paddock Hill bend, as an example. You approach going steeply uphill at 215km/h and turn into a blind downhill-cresting apex at around 190km/h and this sends you steeply downhill towards the exit kerbs that compress you steeply uphill again towards Druids bend. It’s a great roller-coaster ride! The weather in the UK can change all the time, so that adds to the challenge.”
Shaaban and his Italian Prema Powerteam suffered set-up problems at the last two events at Oschersleben and the Nürburgring.
“We’ve definitely learned a lot about which direction not to go with the set-up,” admits Shaaban. “With no 150-minute pre-event test and just the one hour of practice this weekend, we’re going to have to work very efficiently in practice to have the best possible package for qualifying.”
Frenchman Jules Bianchi heads to the Kent circuit in southern England with a 25-point lead over Germany’s Christian Vietoris in the 20-race series.
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