Having proven his worth while conducting the rookie role for Team Canada in 2007-08, Daniel Morad will achieve the rare feat of driving for two different countries in the A1GP 'World Cup of Motorsport' by racing for Team Lebanon in 2008-09.
The 18-year old dual national meets the series' criteria for eligibility as, like previous incumbent Graham Rahal, he has a Lebanese grandfather, Shaol Morad being born in Beirut in 1926 before taking the family to Canada when Morad's father was 18. Morad Jr represented his own 'homeland' in A1GP last season, acting as back-up to James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens through the second half of the season.
“I am very proud to be returning to my roots as part of my racing career," the Atlantic Series graduate admitted, "Although I was a bit younger when my grandfather died, I think that this happening actually makes you realise more just how important your ancestry is to your own character.
"I'm interested in rediscovering my heritage and A1 Team Lebanon is now a big part of that. This is a once in a lifetime situation, and I have to grasp it with both hands. I would love to become closer to my roots and this is a way that I can do this. I'm very excited about the future ahead of me."
Morad's racing career began at the age of eight, when he began racing karts competitively in Canada, picking up a number of trophies, including the Canadian Formula Senior Championship and a Florida Winter Tour title in the Pro-Shifter class, at the culmination of eight years. He moved into open-wheel racing in 2006, competing in the American Formula BMW series, picking up a win at Mid-Ohio, plus a pole-podium-fastest lap sweep at Lime Rock to finish sixth overall in the championship.
He switched teams the following year, joining EuroInternational and winning the title, taking six wins in 14 starts and scoring almost 100 points clear of the runner-up. Morad was also the most successful driver of the North American series in the Formula BMW World Final, finishing fourth in Valencia. He stayed with EuroInternational to make his debut in the Atlantic Championship in 2008.
Morad isn't alone in having driven cars for two competing countries in A1GP, as Enrico Toccacelo was once called in as a mid-meeting substitute for Team Pakistan, but he will be the first eligible to register points.
“Of course, my initial goal is to score the team's first World Cup of Motorsport points," Morad insisted, aware that the likes of Rahal and Australian F3 regular Chris Alajajian had come close but not close enough in recent years.
"How difficult will that be? I guess I just don't know yet. It's a brand new A1GP car which I haven't driven yet and only a few teams have run so far, so it's too early to assess our performance potential. I know how competitive A1GP has become, so I'm expecting this to be the biggest challenge of my career so far, but it's one that I can't wait for. Roll on Zandvoort!”