Basil Shaaban endured a tough weekend of racing in Beijing as he made his return to the Lebanese seat for the third round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport.

With Graham Rahal having given up the seat he filled in Brno to focus on securing a drive in the Champ Car World Series for 2007, Shaaban returned to the car for the meeting in the Chinese capital but was one of the driver to lose out due to the lack of running available as he qualified 20th on the grid for the sprint race.

The combination of a short race - made even shorted by a prolonged Safety Car period - and a narrow track offered minimal opportunities to overtake, with Shaaban only able to move up to 18th place by the time the race come to a close.

In the feature race, Shaaban climbed up to twelfth place before making his mandatory pitstop and was 13th once everyone had completed their stops and the race had settled down. However contact late on saw Shaaban damage a wheel following contact with the wall, but a second pitstop to repair the damage allowed him to continue and finish 13th.

"For the sprint race we were fairly cautious, particularly as we had so little practice time at this track before the races today and, like much of the field were unable to make any real improvement on our starting place," Shaaban said. "In the feature race, it took a while to settle down with a spate of early safety car period disrupting us. We were behind India for a while but got past them with an awesome pitstop from the ace A1 Team Lebanon crew.

"Unfortunately we were punted by another car in the closing stages, putting me into the wall. We had to pit with wheel damage and a puncture, but were able to get back out and finish the race. It was one of the most challenging street tracks I've driven on, but I really enjoyed it."

 

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