Daniel Morad finished day two of the A1GP meeting in South Africa shaking his heads with despair as, once again, promise turned to disappointment with Team Lebanon poised to create an upset.
After setting the Friday practice pace, and continuing to run in the lead group on Saturday morning, the team was confident that it had all the ingredients for a best ever qualifying result, but bad luck once again struck when a persistent engine misfire halted its participation in the qualifying session.
Having moved to the head of the field on the opening day at Kyalami, the team stayed on the pace in the final practice session on Saturday morning, with Morad finishing third quickest. However, the engine developed a misfire in the last few moments of the session, meaning that the crew had to spend the break between practice and qualifying checked - and replacing - virtually all relevant components, systems and software in an attempts to remedy the problem.
“We've had more than our fair share of bad luck this season and we're all very disappointed that an engine misfire put paid to our chances of securing very strong qualifying positions for tomorrow's races," team principal Luke Craft sighed, "It's very tough on Daniel, who hasn't put a foot wrong all weekend, yet ends up at the back of the grid. He has the grit and determination to race for the best finish possible, but we'll need our luck to change if we're going to score points.”
Even after the qualifying sessions, the problem had not been totally resolved, leaving the team to work through the night to resolve the mysterious fault before Sunday's double-header.
“I'm totally gutted, I just don't know what to say," Morad commented, "We were expecting to go into qualifying with a great shot at the first two rows, and possibly a
pole. I can only hope that we've had the back luck now and that we'll have better luck for tomorrow and the next few races.
"The sprint race won't give us much opportunity for points, but it will be frustrating for us tomorrow in the feature race. We have shown to have a top running pace and we'll be behind much slower cars at the start. We'll have to work our way forwards, but on this track it won't be easy. The corners are high speed, so it won't be easy for passing. All we can do is try our best and score points, as that's what we really need to do.”