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!"

Team Lebanon has also revealed a new livery for the forthcoming season, as a strong line-up of sponsors comes on board. The first new livery redesign the team has had since the series inception in 2005 was revealed alongside the team's new driver and team structure at a press conference held in Beirut.

The new look retains the colours of the previous season, with the red, white and green being the most prominent as it draws on the colours and design of the Lebanese national flag. The iconic symbol of Lebanon also remains, with the cedar tree on the car's barge boards an important element of the team and nation's identity.

"The new livery is very creative, and it works well with sponsor logos," seat holder Tameen Auchi commented, "We have put more focus on the commercial aspects this season, so this is why we have re-branded our car. We have secured numerous new sponsors during the off season and now these high profile brands and blue chip companies who will benefit from being showcased to fans across the world."

Zandvoort opens the fourth year of A1GP, after the planned Mugello curtain-raiser was canned, and will see a new face in the Netherlands car after former F1 and Champ Car driver Robert Doornbos completed his seat fitting with Jan Lammers' team.

"It felt good, although we have to wait for the other seats, designed for taller drivers, to get a better position in the car," Doornbos said after working with the team's mechanics at the A1GP Technical Centre at Silverstone.

Jeroen Bleekemolen, who will defend the Dutch honours in the World Cup of Motorsport alongside Doornbos, was also present to witness the latest developments.

Doornbos will make his debut in the new 600bhp car during the group test at Snetterton next Tuesday. Bleekemolen will also take to the track as the team makes its final preparations for the opening round on 5 October.



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