Team Lebanon will give another new driver a chance to make his mark on the A1 Grand Prix Series this weekend, after confirming that Allam Khodair will join Khalil Beschir and Alex Khateeb in Durban.

With Basil Shaaban focusing on his summer season plans, which include the UK-based Formula Palmer Audi series, 25-year old Khodair has been called up to fill the race seat at the South African street event, the eighth A1GP round of the year. Although F3 racer Khateeb has been fulfilling the race role in recent rounds, Khodair has greater street racing experience than either of his team-mates, having raced regularly in the Brazilian FRenault Championship, where he won his first-ever street race, in Florianapolis, in 2002.

"I'm not daunted by the challenge of the Durban track, but I know how big a challenge it is for the team here," the newcomer admitted, "Street circuits demand precision and knowing your limits, not necessarily of the car's power, but more in the braking."

In addition to two years of FRenault, the second of which yielded the Brazilian title, Khodair's previous experience includes European F3000 in 2004 and Brazilian V8s in 2005-06, but he admits that the A1GP car is different to anything he has driven before.

"It's a similar car to the F3000 that I've driven, but with a little more horsepower to control," he explained, "The paddleshift is new to me as well - I've only used this in a PlayStation game, but it shouldn't take long to master it. Adapting to the circuit with this particular car, within a highly competitive category, is my main focus and I'll be aiming for that all-important point this weekend."

Like 2005-06 predecessor Graham Rahal, Brazilian-born and domiciled Khodair's arrival in the Lebanese squad will raise a few eyebrows, but the 25-year old can claim strong national heritage, with his grandparents having been born in Beirut and three of his four uncles born and raised in the country.

He will make his first A1GP appearance in Friday's rookie practice session.

 

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