F3 Basil Shaaban endures cruel luck at Brands Hatch
2009 FORMULA 3 EURO SERIES
Brands Hatch, rounds 13 and 14– September 5th-6th
For immediate release
Monday, September 7th, 2009
ARAB WORLD’S BASIL SHAABAN ENDURES CRUEL LUCK AT BRANDS HATCH
· Shell-backed Lebanese driver finishes 20th in Saturday’s race
· Frenchman Jules Bianchi crashes but maintains F3 Euro Series lead
· Finland’s Mika Mäki and Kiwi Brendon Hartley win Brands Hatch races
BRANDS HATCH (England): Lebanese Formula 3 driver, Basil Shaaban, was thwarted in his attempt to score F3 Euro Series points at the 13th and 14th rounds of the season at Brands Hatch in England last weekend.
The Arab world’s leading F3 driver finished 20th in an accident-marred opening 39-lap race on Saturday and failed to finish the longer 52-lap race on the five-corner, 1.929km ‘Indy’ circuit on Sunday.
Race one was won by Finland’s Mika Mäki from the Signature Team, with Kiwi Brendon Hartley recording his first points of the season with victory in race two for the Carlin Motorsport operation. Frenchman Jules Bianchi continues to lead the 20-round championship by 16 points from Germany’s Christian Vietoris, despite failing to finish both races.
“Race one was stopped because of a big accident involving championship leader Jules Bianchi and Tiago Geronimi on the outside of Paddock Hill bend and only restarted four hours later to avoid a clash with DTM qualifying,” said Shaaban, who drives a Shell-backed Dallara Mercedes-Benz F308/309 for Italy’s Prema Powerteam.
Bianchi had crashed at the same corner in qualifying, breaking his string of five-consecutive F3 Euro Series pole positions.
“It is very difficult to overtake on the Indy configuration of Brands Hatch, but I was running as one of the quickest cars in the restarted race. This was very positive even if I finished 20th.”
Having set the ninth-fastest race lap in the restarted race, this was a return to form for the Arab racer after struggling to keep his car on the pace during the last couple of events.
The Lebanese was relishing the second race on Sunday, but retired on the 17th lap after hitting the barrier and forcing the first of two safety car periods. “The on-board data confirms I just ran a few centimetres wide on the entry into the challenging Paddock Hill bend,” admitted Shaaban. “With the dirt out there, I lost front grip and slid off the circuit into the gravel, resulting in my touching the barrier. Mistakes happen, but it is a shame since I was running a strong pace and had fought my way up to 14th position.”
The second safety car was introduced as a result of a collision between America’s Jake Rosenzweig, Brazil’s César Ramos and France’s Adrien Tambay.
Shaaban had qualified 22nd for the opening race after a fraught qualifying session that saw him suffer from throttle pedal slippage. The Lebanese will be looking for better luck when he heads to Spain and the Circuit of Catalunya in Barcelona for rounds 15 and 16 of the F3 Euro Series on September 18th-20th.
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